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Navigating the Waves of Change: How to Anchor Your Worth in Turbulent Times

In a world where change is the only constant, the recent news of job cuts across big companies like Alphabet Inc., Amazon, American Airlines, and Levi’s feels like a storm, shaking up the calm waters of employment. If you read anything I write, you know I feel this is all overblown and the “recession” is a false front for large companies to mask layoffs, despite massive earnings,

The tech and media sectors, in particular, are going all-in on layoffs, impacting a diverse group of people. The “restructuring” data from the past year tells a vivid story: 56% of those affected were women, 48% were between 30-40 years old, a huge 89% were in the U.S., and 60% had a bachelor’s degree. With all this uncertainty, people are doing whatever they can to secure their jobs, while waiting for corporate America to get its head out of its proverbial you know…

Meet Shelmina Babai Abji, a guiding light and former IBM Vice President. According to Abji, your worth is directly tied to the value you create. To excel, exceed your organization’s value expectations. This serves as a timely reminder to be intentional about our contributions and avoid running on autopilot. Let’s make sure we align with our team’s and organization’s goals.

Shelmina Abji’s inspiring story is a remarkable tale of resilience and unwavering determination. From her humble beginnings as an immigrant to becoming a first-generation college graduate, she defied all odds to rise as one of the highest-ranking women of color at IBM. Her extraordinary journey serves as a powerful testament to the undeniable strength and worth that women possess, especially in the male-dominated tech industry.

In her book, “Show Your Worth: 8 Intentional Strategies for Women to Emerge as Leaders at Work,” Abji presents a proven blueprint that empowers women to navigate their career paths, shatter glass ceilings, and emerge as influential leaders.

But what makes Abji’s message so compelling is not just her personal success story; it’s the actionable strategies she shares for anyone looking to make their mark and secure their position in an ever-evolving job market. From overcoming internal obstacles like fear and imposter syndrome to navigating external challenges such as microaggressions and biases, her advice is both practical and profound.

Abji outlines eight intentional strategies to showcase your value, highlights ways to bounce back from layoffs, and discusses common pitfalls that many women unknowingly fall into at work. Moreover, she really dives into the kinds of relationships that can help you step up as a leader. It shows that success isn’t just about what you know, but also about who you know and how you connect with them.

At the heart of her guidance is the concept of building a leadership brand, regardless of your current position. It’s about making an indelible mark that speaks volumes of your capability, adaptability, and indispensability. Abji’s own ascent from lifting her family out of poverty in Tanzania to becoming a senior executive, all while balancing the responsibilities of a single mother, is nothing short of inspiring.

In times of uncertainty, the only thing we can truly control is how we act and make decisions. As Shelmina Babai Abji’s insights reveal, it’s possible to chart a course through the storm by anchoring your worth in the value you bring to your organization. While it may not save you from unnecessary layoffs, it may make the next position you land a lot easier.