As a professional woman I don’t have many female friends; I’ve always thought it was a problem, now I recognize I’m not alone. There are a number of reasons; the first there never seemed to be time. Between work and family something had to give and friends was always low on my priority list. Most of my social life came from maybe a neighbor or two and my office. The second reason as a financial advisor I seemed to lack the talent much less the energy to socialize with the “soccer” Mom’s. I attended many of my kids sporting events but always felt a bit out of touch. Coming straight from closing a multi-million dollar investment account I found it difficult to shift my thoughts to carpools and social gossip, not that I wouldn’t have liked to partake. And lastly, I’ve always worked in a male dominated industry I suppose I sometimes felt more comfortable in the company of men but even then didn’t quite fit in.
At this years conference Breaking the Mold for Female Financial Advisors one of the participants shared that she always thought of herself as a third sex, part female, part male or something in between; this feeling seemed to resonate with most of the women in the room. As a woman you just assume your the only one with the problem, you perceive all the other woman as having a great social life, obviously that is not always the case. I always thought it was just me, so do my daughters. My daughters are so quick to compliment me when they see me socializing with women in the community, they practically pat me on the back and tell me “Good job Mom!”. They love seeing me do the regular “Mom thing”.
As time goes on I have learned that I am not alone. Just by sharing the fact that I don’t have many female friends other women are able to admit their own lack of a social network. All of a sudden we feel that bond of women on the outside. I suppose women just assume other women have a great social network but who the heck has the time? The reality is when you are a strong independent female, when you have a career or are building a practice as a financial advisor, when you have children at home who need your time and support, something has to give. I am now more selective, when I do find a woman that is open, honest, competitive and displays the energy I love to be around I make the effort. I don’t have many friends but I am slowly accumulating some really good friends that are worth it.