Article by Soumaya Hamzaoui, co-founder and COO and RedCloud Technologies

Career change, Building a career featuredAs women, our adult life is measured by permanent determinant choices; compromises, that are either imposed on us by biology or by society.

I am speaking of every woman in every country, regardless of origin, colour, culture, or religion. As a 37-year-old female entrepreneur, unmarried and with no kids, I want to share how I deal with the doubts and the pressure to make decisions.

Moving forward in life is like going up on a ladder, you have to take each step carefully if you want to go higher. From my point of view the first three steps are the most important, because if we get those right, then the rest is just about experience.

First step: Choose your ladder carefully

As young women we are thrown into life very early with a path that says you’re supposed to race as fast as you can, graduate quickly, get your first job, get married, have kids, and then you are ‘settled’. Most women do not even have the time to think and consider what their options are and what they want to do with their lives. I think taking the first year of our adult life to figure out what it is we really want and why we want it is a fundamental step, as if we fail in this step we will never reach the second.

Second step: Cancel the noise

If you get step one right, step two should be fairly easy, as once you choose your path this step is about making it happen. Regardless of your choice, one thing is sure, you will have to make compromises and sacrifices to achieve it. Every decision you make will be questioned. Whether it is a personal decision or a professional one, there will always be someone telling you ‘this is not how others do it’, or ‘this is something you will regret in five years’ etc. That why it is very important to be sure of where you are going and why you want to get there. The truth is you will make loads of bad decisions, but if you make them for the right reasons, you will always feel more confident in yourself.

Third step: Stay focused on the essential

As you start going up, you will become more comfortable and gain confidence as you are achieving your objectives. At this point it is very easy to lose yourself and get distracted from your end goals. It is also possible that what you had in your plan turns out to make you feel unhappy and unfulfilled. Say you wanted to be a tech entrepreneur and you managed to achieve it! You have 200 people working in your company. But you are not enjoying it. The question you should ask yourself is ‘why did I want to do this in the first place, what exactly was I trying to achieve and what is preventing me from enjoying it?’. Once you get the answers to these questions, you can make the necessary adjustments.

Also please keep in mind that plans are there to be changed. Changing your plan to adapt it to reality is not failure, it is part of the journey. Embrace it!  Live every pain, every failure, every success and every happy day with the same intensity, because that is what will make you who you want to be – an authentic person.

About the author

Soumaya HamzaouiSoumaya is an entrepreneur and technical and product strategist. She has a strong track record of developing internet and mobile products across enterprises focused on the global fintech industry.

She has deep sector expertise built over the last seven years across Africa, Asia and EMEA in mobile money, digital financial services and fintech launches.

She is currently an executive at RedCloud Technologies and has been responsible for directing the release of its next generation open commerce platform built for global markets.