At the age of 9 Ina Coveney was inventing things and by the time she was 10, she knew that she wanted to be an Electrical Engineer. Her career and life path were clearly defined.
Ina grew up in a family of over-achievers. Her parents both worked in high profile corporate jobs and it seemed only natural that she would follow in their footsteps.
She did all the right things. She went to college and studied Computer Science where she was one of the very few women in that field and upon graduating she secured a corporate job and life was going exactly as she’d planned.
That was how it seemed from the outside but on the inside, Ina felt depressed. She couldn’t put her finger on why she felt this way given all that she had, but her relationship became the outlet for her frustrations. Ina says she must have broken up with her now-husband five times before they even made it to the altar.
It took a lot of therapy for Ina to realise that her husband wasn’t to blame, in fact, he was her rock. Instead, what she discovered was that when she wasn’t happy at work she wasn’t happy at home and the feedback she received from the company she worked for encouraged that dissatisfaction. She was told she was too aggressive and needed to change. Initially, she thought that something was wrong with her and she set about trying to be even more perfect.
Work does not define who you are.
What transpired is the company had a culture of gender bias. It was a systemic issue within the company and all women were being affected. Collectively they recognised that it wasn’t them that was wrong, it was the culture of the company.
Ina says in a situation like this it’s so important to hear from other women that it isn’t you, that it isn’t about something being wrong with you.
Nobody can change your reality except you.
Ina would have loved to have been able to say that this prompted her to resign from her job but her reality was that she first had to figure out how to make ends meet with one income. It wasn’t until she went on maternity leave that she chose to take the opportunity to stay home with her baby for a year and start a business on the side.
That business is teaching others how to go after their entrepreneurial dreams without sacrificing the security of their full-time job. A refreshing change from being told to just take the leap, quit your job and hope for the best.
Ina Coveney is a business expert and side hustle master based in Boston. While kicking butt and taking names in the corporate world, she started her small business making websites on the side. Now she teaches others how to go after their entrepreneurial dreams without sacrificing the security of their full-time jobs.
She’s been featured in USA Today, Business.com, CEO Blog Nation and appeared in the podcasts: Leadership Vibes with Angela Govila, and She’s Making an Impact with Rachel Ngom.