Recently, as some of you know I was nominated for a Venus Business Woman award in Southampton http://venusawards.co.uk/ I was up for “employee of the year”. Being the lowly intern I was surprised and excited! I still don’t know who nominated me but I got down to the finals. It was me vs 2 other ladies, both well established and excellent in their roles. I pretty much knew who would win and I had adopted a mind set of “not wanting to want it”. Still, I went to the awards ceremony and only really began to feel the nerves as the courses were cleared and my category got closer and closer. I started to feel butterflies and thought that I would end up being upset if I didn’t win but had to keep calm.
Before this. we had to go to a “face the camera” meeting where we were filmed and that video was put online and judges decided who would go to the final “public vote” round. I was surprised that my video was picked as I had problems being nervy and not being able to get my words out (kudos to whoever did the editing there). The public vote meant we had to get people we knew to go onto the website and click to vote for us. We were encouraged to campaign and drum up support. I however, didn’t do this as much as I could. I emailed colleagues, friends, people I used to work with, all in an effort to get people to vote for me, I didn’t want anyone I didn’t know to vote for me really because I wanted the votes to be based on people’s knowledge of the work I had done. I think this is where my efforts failed. I under-sold myself and so ended up not taking the prize home. I am happy for Hannah who did win, she was clearly so deserving of this award!
A few things I took away from this;
– A lot of this was down to PR work, networking and getting people on side. There were clearly people with A LOT of support. So perhaps I should have really pushed for it and emailed EVERYONE, the staff, the students all of them to get the numbers up?? I don’t think anyone can expect something for nothing or for things to happen by magic.
– I should have done more networking while I was there. Everyone there was clearly successful and I wish I had taken more time to go and meet more people and establish meaningful connections. However in a room of excitable women this is a challenge all of it’s own!
– There is no room for hesitation in these things and you can’t go into them half-halfheartedly (I wanted to win, but not as much as some of the other ladies- there were tears on stage!)
I would like to say a massive congratulations to all of the finalists (pictured below) and say what an incredible job Tara Howard, her team and the Grand Harbour, Devere hotel did on the evening. (Even if Tara couldn’t sit down!) An excellent time was had by all and what a lovely thing to do on a “school night”. I had a smile on my face all night, even when I didn’t win. My face ached by the end of it and it was hard not to be cheerful among some really awesome people. What Tara is doing with these awards is so great and goes to show what she has been telling us all along WOMEN ARE NOT A NICHE MARKET and they do deserve recognition! I can only hope that as I progress in my work life and career I can measure up to some of the talent, ambition and drive that was in that room. And you all looked amazing!