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A Call to Action to Advocate for Others

A Call to Action to Advocate for Others

Whether we would like to admit it or not, many of us have a jealousy problem. Let’s talk about it.

Ambition, the pursuit of attaining professional success, drives us to take our career to the next level. We work hard, and we strive to outperform and over-deliver. We invest in advancing our skills and continuing professional development. We attend conferences and speaking events to connect with peers in our industry and to get in the know of what’s up and coming in our field. And from there, we come to the slippery slope down a self-absorbed approach to getting ahead.

Maybe we start to believe that to be competitive in today’s world, we need to hold others back. We may not recognize it as it is happening, but it creeps up on us when we are in a position to connect a friend to an opportunity, or help a colleague to a useful contact, and let it fall to the wayside. It creeps up on us when we begin to deliberately withhold information that could give someone we know a leg up in their career.

[Related: Why Aren't More Women Supporting Women at Work?]

Let’s rise above this, because the reality is, we are not playing a zero sum game. To create opportunities for ourselves at the table, we must create opportunities for others at the table.

I previously wrote about the importance of investing in ourselves. What I will let you in on is that a consequential part of investing in ourselves is to invest in others. Let us become better advocates for each other. When we help our peers get ahead, we should feel pride, and not jealously; we should feel empowered, and not diminished. Because we are sparking an action with an impact that reaches beyond just ourselves. And by doing so, we are expanding our sphere of influence.

It does not matter our age or our relative position in the world. We have the power to advocate for someone by talking about them to a hiring manager, by referring them to a potential client, or simply by enhancing how they feel about their ability to succeed. Pay it forward, because no one did it alone. I certainly didn't.

So ask yourself, who will you advocate for today? In the comment section below, leave a shout out to someone incredible that the world should know about.

[Related: How To Go From Being Mentored To Being Sponsored]

My shout out is to my colleague and dear friend Tripat Gill, whose dedicated work in health strategy and systems planning is making a real impact that optimizes the standard of care for cancer patients in Canada. On a daily basis, she shows by example, her commitment to her organization and to the colleagues and stakeholders whom she works with. Her work ethic and the calibre of her work speaks for itself, and above all, she is a true people leader, with an innate ability to inspire the very best from those around her. You can find Tripat Gill on LinkedIn. Check out the incredible work that she does!


Jennifer Guo leads a rising career in public health. Her special interests include health economics and its application in translating biotech innovations from the bench to the bedside. She will be starting her PhD in Health Economics with the Institute for Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation (IHPME) at the University of Toronto. Outside work, she is mentor to upper year and graduate students at her alma maters, and is a volunteer with LeanInCanada, the national Canadian chapter of LeanIn.Org that is empowering women to build purposeful and fulfilling careers.

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