She’s not the first person to imagine quitting the 9 to 5 and she won’t be the last – especially considering the movement she started when she decided to share her experience doing so. Meet Bianca Harris, the innovative force behind Women Inspiring Passion and Purpose aka WIPP, an organization that focuses on empowering women to get out there and own it, whatever their ‘it’ may be.
We’re so excited to have you on our panel. How did you hear about Young Women in Business & Achievers Women’s Network? What inspired you to participate in our Negotiation panel discussion?
The abilty to effectively navitgate negotiation discussions are a key component of success, so when AWN and YWIB approached me about participating on the panel I was happy to oblige. Freelance is becoming an increasingly common path, yet I notice many people do not properly guage the conversation about their worth when they are starting out in their careers and I want to share insight around that.
Tell me about your story. How did you get to be where you are today?
I started my journey as a makeup artist in a retail environment and while I loved doing makeup, working in retail did not jive with me. While it’s intimidating to bid security goodbye and go into business with yourself, I could not imagine spending my life working jobs that I hated. When I took the plunge and quit my job to go the freelance route it was a huge learning opportunity– both in my own experiences and how my friends reacted to it. Realizing the need for a support network to help women bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be created the foundation for WIPP. I think we are responsible to support each other because no one else is going to do it for us. I wanted to create an environment where success could thrive, people responded positively to it and now here we are.
When you look back on your career to date, what is one important challenge, event, or achievement that stands out as a milestone?
In May WIPP hosted a day long summit and it was incredibly empowering to see it come together after six months of planning. Inspiration knows no bounds, so the day encompassed a mix of elements to give attendees the push and support they needed to take ownership of their next step. There was an art show, several vendors, workshops and two panel discussions that included speakers Shannon Boodram, Adwoa Aboah, Melody Ehsani and Stylelikeu. Managing all of the logistics was a handful and it was surreal to stand there on the day of and see it all happening.
When you think about your journey, what would you say was the one trait that helped you get you to where you are today. Was this a learned trait, or did you have it from day one?
I’ve relied on two key traits that exist in tandem to get me to where I am today: staying committed and being persistent. In work, and in life, there are ample opportunities to get fed up and frustrated - but you need to push through it. It’s ok to take a moment to refocus on the motivation that initiatied a venture and reset after a deterrant, then get back to working towards the awesome you set out to do. Plan for stuff to not go according to plan, and commit to getting past it.