“I grew up in a traditional Thai household. I was the oldest daughter, and took care of my family. My father worked for an airline so we had the opportunity to travel across Europe and Asia for much of my life. So when we finally arrived in the U.S., it was a very interesting and contrasting experience. When I started working here, I didn’t communicate very much. I didn’t feel I could speak up much in meetings, and it just didn’t feel natural to. One day, I found myself in a personal development course and during one of the feedback sessions, I learned that people found me judgemental and stand-offish because I wasn’t participating enough. Of course, I disagreed with what was being perceived, but then they said “Neeracha, you never speak. How would we know?” This is when I began to realize the power of perception, and the power of impact versus intent. I learned that I needed to speak up, and speak up often, if I wanted to grow.
This has become one of my biggest pieces of advice for other women looking to advance their careers: create goals. Write them down, and share them with others. This was really difficult at first, but once I started to rediscover my voice, I got more comfortable using it and voicing what I want to achieve.”