(skwäd/ɡōl) (noun) (plural noun: squad goals): an inspirational term for what you’d like your group of friends to be or accomplish. Used best when placed at the end of a directional statement.
While I’m sure many of us would love to be part of the seemingly perfect posse of girl power excellence T-Swift has assembled, I think assembling your own squad is so important. And I don’t just mean your BFFs.
There is huge value in bringing together people outside of your immediately circle of besties to help you learn and push your professional boundaries.
A few years ago a friend of mine had the brilliant idea to bring a small group of women together once a month to serve as a career sounding board for one another – we’d talk about professional issues we were coming up against, discuss career opportunities, development opportunities, what the heck we wanted out of our professional lives and of course, how these things intersect with our personal lives.
The premise is quite simple – each month a different member is the “host”, which means they pick a topic for us to discuss and send out “homework” – readings, Ted Talks, once even a movie. Then we come together for a discussion – how we felt about what we were engaging with, how it may or may not apply to us and what we think we can learn from it. Sometimes one comment about the homework sparks an entirely different conversation and direction than the meeting planned for, but we’ve not only accepted this, we now embrace it (as long as it’s relevant to the group’s purpose). This has resulted in some amazing moments of clarity.
Two and half years later we’re still holding these meetings. We’ve had a few women come and go from the group, all of us are now in different jobs than when we started and a few over them even moved across, and out of, the country. Now instead of hosting one another at our homes, we hold Skype sessions.
Even through periods when it was tough to get together, or after we’d missed a few meetings, every time we finish we are always so energized and thankful that we’ve stuck to this. Though there has been some overlap in our fields or companies at times, we all work in very distinct jobs.
These ladies have given me perspective and insight I not only wouldn’t have come to on my own, but may not have achieved if I was just meeting with a group of women who do the same kind of work I do. They are incredibly intelligent, driven, hard-working and fun. I feel so fortunate to have them as part of my #careersquad.
Have your own #careersquad? Let me know in the comments!