In this installment of Women Who Wow, get to know Maggie Garden, the Director of Business Development at Shipman & Goodwin LLP. I got to know Maggie through LinkedIn and became a huge fan of her posts – they are insightful, inspiring and filled with actionable tips. Make sure to follow her on LinkedIn!

Why did you choose your profession?

I’ve always been a people person and love building connections. My parents used to say when I was a child wherever we would go, I would come out with new friends and keep those friendships for a long time. And that is still true about me to this day. So helping businesses grow and foster their client relationships in the world of marketing and business development is a perfect fit for me.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love meeting new people, hearing their story and finding out what makes them who they are. I think in this fast paced tech-filled world, where everyone wants everything yesterday, it’s important to pause and get to know who a person is. What’s important to them? What makes them happy? What are they good at? And work towards building an authentic relationship based on those things. I enjoy bringing a little humanity back to business.

Any advice to women about succeeding in the workplace?

Advocate for yourself and others. If you see someone doing great things at work, and have the opportunity to convey it to other people- do that. If you have a friend or colleague that is posting great content on social media – comment on it and share their post. If you’re in a room and an opportunity is being discussed and you know someone good for the job – talk about them. And while it’s important to be a cheerleader for others, make sure you advocate for yourself. If there is an opportunity you want at work, tell your boss about it. If you’ve accomplished a goal you’ve been working towards, share it. Chances are everyone at your office is busy and pulled in different directions – they might not have the capacity to know what you’ve accomplished. And if you don’t share it, who will? And lastly, if you’re looking to make a career change, go for it. Don’t let fear hold you back.

What do you wish you could tell your younger self?

Failure is NOT a sign of weakness. It’s necessary to grow. Yes, success is great- but success isn’t where the magic happens. It’s in the struggles and the trials and the things that went wrong. That’s where you shift and that’s where you grow. That’s where the catalyst for the next great thing happens. Failure is not a missed step – it’s a cha-cha.

How do you achieve work/life balance?

I might have an unpopular opinion here- but I’m not sure work/life balance is something that is ever fully achieved. I think multi-tasking is a bit of myth because if you’re doing multiple things at once, something is suffering because it doesn’t get your full attention. What makes me feel most balanced, is when I’m present with what I’m doing. If I’m at work, I’m present at work. And my attention is on the task or project at hand. When I’m at home with my kids, I’m present there and I’m mom. They have my attention and focus.

Earlier in my career, I used to be the mom with the email open and the phone set so all alerts were on so I didn’t miss anything. That wasn’t fair to my job, and that wasn’t fair to my kids. So when I’m mom, I’m present. If I’m with friends, I’m present in that moment with them. I’m not scrolling through social media while I’m with them or answering other texts. Being present is something I’m still working on mastering, but life feels a lot more balanced this way.