Accomplishments do not speak for themselves

Author: Sundas Khalid

I attended my first International Women’s Day celebration by Women Techmakers on March 2nd 2019. It was an all-day event hosted at Google Kirkland office. The day had four major themes. Honest. Connected. Heard. Inspired.

The morning had four keynotes from inspiring women in tech who spoke about the four themes. My favorite session, however, was in the afternoon: #IamRemarkable Workshop.

#IamRemarkable Workshop at IWD19 WTM

#IamRemarkable is a Google initiative that empowers women to celebrate their accomplishments and be comfortable to speak about them.

Accomplishments do not speak for themselves

Reading this quote was an Aha moment for me. Because all my life, I have shied away from talking about myself or sharing my accomplishments in a public forum. I thought speaking about my accomplishments out loud would make me less humble and less down to earth. But I have been wrong. Accomplishments don’t speak for themselves and that’s just a fact. Unless you are Bill Gates or some other high-profile public figure, no one is going to research into your contribution and highlight your accomplishments for you. You have to do it yourself!

I know myself better than anyone else. I know what I have accomplished — small and big. So why shy away from sharing it?! Why wait for someone else to recognize my accomplishments.

I know and have the power to speak about my accomplishments. I don’t need to wait for anyone else to share them for me.

As part of the #IamRemarkable workshop, all participants wrote their accomplishments and split them into two buckets: Personal and Professional. I wrote mine and it felt great to write them down and share them with everyone in the group. It was an exercise that almost brought me to tears and made me wonder why I’ve been holding back. It made me feel that I am respecting myself enough to recognize what I have accomplished so far. It reminded me to not let my failures bring me down.

It was an exercise that almost brought me to tears and left me thinking.

So in an effort to breakthrough for my own self and anyone else that would get inspired reading this, I want to share my notes on what makes me remarkable.

Professional:

  • I am remarkable because I am the first-female in my family to attend college, graduate, and pursue a career.
  • I am remarkable because I was valedictorian at University of Washington graduation and gave a speech to 3,000 people despite English being my second language.
  • I am remarkable because I earned first place among all intern presentations at Amazon in March 2014, and won two awards for my work as full-time employee at Amazon in Nov 2018.
  • I am remarkable because I am part of Pakistani Women in Computing and using the platform to empower other women’s’ career.
  • I am remarkable because when I take ownership of something, I take it to the finish line. I am a doer; I don’t wait for other people to do it for me.

Personal:

  • I am remarkable because I had a near-death experience and used that experience to change my life for the better
  • I am remarkable because I am raising two beautiful kids, managing home, working a demanding job, and helping others achieve their dreams.
  • I am remarkable because I go out of my way to help others and enjoy doing it.
  • I am remarkable because I am persistent and don’t give up.
  • I am remarkable because I don’t let success get to my head.
  • I am remarkable because I stay calm and positive in difficult situations.
I am Remarkable!

The idea is to start each sentence with “I am remarkable” and complete it with your accomplishments. I would highly encourage to do this exercise in a trusted group setting. It can be empowering and motivating to be Honest about your strengths. Have your accomplishments be Heard. Connect with other people at a deeper level, and Get Inspired listening to others’ stories.

Watch this inspiring #IamRemarkable marketing campaign by Google:

Useful Reference Links

About the Author

Sundas Khalid is a Data Scientist, University of Washington Valedictorian, first-generation immigrant, first female in her family to graduate college and pursue a career. She leads the Seattle chapter of Pakistani Women in Computing. Sundas is passionate about women’s education, workforce diversity, and enjoys helping and empowering others.