This article is a part of our monthly Women Evolve(d): How She Did It Series
Each month we feature inspirational women who've made it to the other side of career change. Learn how they did it and take away usable tips from their career journeys! This month, we're proud to feature Arivee Vargas who fully embodies the spirit of reinvention.
Arivee is the founder of Humble Rising LLC and a certified high-performance and life coach. She helps women shift their mindsets to adjust to fast-paced environments and overcome their fears. Prior to her work with Humble Rising LLC, Arivee received both an undergraduate degree and a law degree from Boston College. She currently works with Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
Arivee's drive and passion for helping other women in their career inspires us! Read our interview and gain from her experience.
Life and high-performance coach
What is your personal mantra, mission or manifesto?
My mission is to motivate and empower women to unlock the incredible potential, knowledge, and power they already possess to create a life and career they want and deserve.
What inspired you to launch your current career/launch your business?
As a lawyer at large law firms and then in industry, I observed countless women hold themselves back because of a lack of clarity, self-doubt, fear of rejection, judgment, and failure, and shrinking their own wants and desires. I too struggled with these challenges, but once you shift your mindset and realize the power you have to direct the course of your life, it's a game changer. You realize how powerful you are, and it's often beyond what you can imagine. As I coached women to break through these roadblocks and witnessed their transformation, I knew I had to take my coaching further, and establish my own business and lean more fully into personal and career growth and development.
What is unique about returning/pivoting in midlife? Challenges & opportunities?
For fifteen years, my professional identity and reputation was completely wrapped up in my being a lawyer and the accomplishments related to that role. When you spend that many years working tirelessly, strengthening your skills, building and maintaining your reputation as a lawyer, it can be challenging to leave that behind and build anew. But I am a perpetual student; I love learning and I love growing in new ways. My experiences as a lawyer and a Latina are an essential piece of my unique story that sets apart my approach to and perspective on coaching and personal and professional development.
The advice I wish I had given to my 20 year old self is…
Just because you don't know anyone doing what you may like to do, doesn't mean you can't. This is especially true for women of color, and for Latinas like me. Sometimes we have to imagine our future selves and blaze our own paths. It takes two critical qualities: courage and belief. There are women who have an unwavering belief in themselves-even when no one else does (or very few people do). And, they have the courage to do what they want, not what others may expect of them and not what they "could" or "should" do. They don't let fear of failure, rejection, or judgment from others make the call. They decide to move towards the fear and go for it, when it's something they're clear they really want. So get clear on what you want, understand your why, and go after it with all you have.
Best career advice for other women?
The first is to be the driver of your career. Own the value you bring and don't apologize for it. This means you must ask for the promotion, the raise, the next opportunity. You cannot wait for opportunities to come and people to "think of you"; that may happen, but you must be in the driver's seat. Don't let someone else drive.
The second is to get clear on where you're headed. Many women I speak to either know exactly what they want in 10-20 years (i.e., CEO or C-suite executive), or they have no idea, but they know what energizes and engages them, and they know their strengths and areas for improvement. If you don't have that "dream" job in mind, no problem! But work on getting clarity on your next step. Ask yourself, what does that next step look like; why is that important to me; what is my timeline for getting there; what skills and capabilities do I need to reach it; what could get it in the way; and how can I break down that goal into steps over the next weeks and months.
As you achieve those steps, you build and maintain momentum. Then, when you look back in one or two years and see what you've done, you'll see all of the intentional work you did to get there. Often times massive results are not created from one big move, they are created from small steps taken consistently and intentionally over time.