Women tell Women

What are the real measures of success?

— Christina Gliha

There is such deep societal programming one has to overcome about what “making it to the top” is. Many people feel they must attain a job at a certain type of company, a specific title and position and salary. After having achieved many of the highest milestones in my previous career – I realized it wasn’t what I really needed. Deconstructing the idea of “how will this look to others” is the most important. I used to work in an adjacent creative industry where not caring too much about anything was cool. Colleagues were quite jaded and resigned and so being outwardly excited about anything was considered a bit pathetic. Can you imagine that being passionate, happy or joyful about one’s work was not considered the ultimate end goal? It’s so deeply counterintuitive and numbing. I resented that I had to hide that side of myself in order to be taken seriously and knew that being authentic was much more inspiring and resulted in better outcomes all around.

Because I am naturally a very a curious and optimistic person, I found that I needed to extract myself from that dynamic in order to be truly successful because I recognized that I thrive on a different type of positive reciprocal energy. I also wanted to stop worrying about being embarrassed – cool facades really limit one’s options for joy and connection. In short, living for others is a fruitless endeavor.

Being willing to leave or carve out a new way of working is gratifying because there is no self-abandonment. You show up as yourself, integrity intact, and no mask to hide behind. So success can mean all of the usual shiny things – but ultimately – if you are not really having fun and growing – the onus is on you to seek out or create a better scenario. Bet on yourself and you will always win. I think many others are waking up to this too and it’s wonderful to see.

Christina Gliha –
Artist & Illustrator

Christina has worked as an Executive Creative Director, Graphic Designer and Art Director at various branding and advertising agencies in Canada, the US and France. She’s created award winning brand and campaign work for global clients like Apple, MTV, Lululemon or Pepsi to name a few. She also co-founded Portrait Branding – the first fashion and beauty branding agency in Canada which helped launch numerous brands onto the runway and into the zeitgeist. Recently, she has come back to her love of illustration, working with like-minded makers in fashion, beauty, retail and publishing – from Moda Operandi through Penguin Random House to Louis Vuitton.