Nada Ahmed, is a successful innovation and tech leader, a board member and a keynote speaker on a global stage. Over the past decade, Nada has worked with some of the top engineering firms building robust innovation programs and digital strategies to take advantage of the technological advancement and rapidly changing business environment.
A month ago, to the surprise of many, she decided to quit her promising VP position.
From early on in her career, she was determined to climb the ladder in a relatively male dominated environment within the energy sector. She was set on being that role model, for women and people of minority background, to show that it is possible to be different and succeed. Slowly but surely, she climbed the ranks and found herself to be exactly where she wanted to be, VP at a top engineering firm, working on exciting and innovative projects that she was passionate about. Yet within a year of taking on the role, she decided it was time to call it quits.
She is joining the tidal wave of resignations the corporate world is experiencing dubbed as ‘The Great Resignation’. According to Forbes, Nada fits the demographic of the majority of those quitting quite perfectly actually: mid-career, between 30-45 years old and a woman in manager/leadership role and in the field of tech.
Why are people quitting? Surveys suggest many reasons including exhaustion, overwork, general disengagement and/or a misalignment of values, purpose and how employees want to spend their time. For Nada, it’s a combination of all of the above but mostly she was done conforming to the arcane rules that are passed down from 200 years of the industrial era- from a time when the majority of the workforce was physical labor, most of the population was uneducated, and there was no room for women at work. We live in a very different time today, yet our workplace culture has not changed. This is reflected in what we value most in our workers today: obedience, grit, ability to execute on tasks. Instead, Nada believes we need to start valuing the qualities that make us uniquely human: our creativity, our ability to connect with others through empathetic ways, our ability to look at different perspectives and integrate information from various sources to holistic decision-making.
The pandemic has allowed her to reflect more deeply on how she wants to spend her time. Having 15 years of experience under her belt, she is ready to take more risks and make some bold moves. ‘I no longer feel I have to prove myself tocorporate. As I am approaching mid-career, I no longer aspire to the traditional ideals of success in corporate and realize that I could very well achieve more impact as an entrepreneur and social media influencer.’
So, she is quitting corporate for now and carving out her own unique path to success as an entrepreneur, writer and public speaker.
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