Stand and Deliver: Embrace the Challenge of Starting Over with
Osnat (Os) Benari
by Lisa Gable · 07 Nov 2022 · 6 min read
My Stand and Deliver series highlights women who lead through inspiration and aspiration. Today’s article reminds us to embrace the challenge when the career path you planned may no longer be an option.
I chose to interview Osnat (Os) Benari because of my admiration for her adaptability, fortitude, and determination. Os is author of the upcoming book, Starting from Scratch, which is about managing change and making smart career choices. She is a product creator and active mentor and is grounded in her belief in the power of women supporting other women.
Os, please introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about your career and what excites you about your current stage of life.
I am in a super exciting phase. While writing my book Starting from Scratch, due to a reorg that placed me in a less than ideal career position, I also found myself starting from scratch! Being true to what I write about, I decided to follow the book steps myself, leading me to begin consulting in a new industry (Web3) and having the freedom to build a portfolio career. I work with companies to bring the Starting from Scratch mindset to their organization, promote my book, while continuing to do what I love most: build products people love through my consulting work. I miss a team and peers, so I believe I’ll find a way to return to the corporate world one day.
Tell us about what’s unique about you and your personal history.
That’s a huge question! I am a mother, a wife, an immigrant Israeli in New York, a product builder, an author, a mentor, a learner, and an advisor... The order changes on different days.
What are the three top tips you have for a woman trying to assert her influence and ideas?
I have been working in a male-dominant position and industry my whole career, so I want to say that these tips are not gender specific.
How do you help unleash leadership at all levels?
Everyone has their superpower and their kryptonite. As leaders, we must support our employees in identifying those and helping them do their best by using their powers, skills, and talents, knowing what makes them weak, and being able to ask for your help. I am very intuitive as a leader and take pride in learning the highs and lows of my employees so that they grow personally and professionally.
Tell our readers about your book, why it’s unique or special, and what attracted you to write it.
As a child, I wanted to write a book or be a journalist, and then I was drafted into the army, and my career dreams and aspirations changed, but it was always there waiting to be born. I started writing Starting from Scratch after I went through several reorgs and noticed that while I was going through them well, my colleagues were suffering from post-traumatic layoff disorder (PTLD). I must say the reason I'm still standing isn't my smarts or quick wit but an actual method that works, so I decided I wanted to share that and help people reinvent themselves in the workplace. Starting from Scratch is a mentality, a mindset, that can be learned and is relevant when you are just starting a new role or need to reinvent yourself in a current role.
Who inspires you today and why?
I am inspired by kindness. I love human stories and love seeing other people's talents, work, and lifestyles. I am inspired by people who connect with me, despite not knowing me personally, to tell me how my book encourages them to take a better job or to stick to one and reinvent themselves in the same place. I love that they do two things: take action and their kindness in telling me I inspired them. My oldest daughter also inspires me. She had overcome some real difficulties in the past year and managed to reinvent herself. She's strong and kind but also knows when to ask for help.
How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as someone who affected other people's life for good.
My Key Takeaways
What strikes me the most about Os is her pragmatic approach to starting over. She accepts that, especially in today’s fast-moving environment, change is a challenge to be embraced.
“The reason I'm still standing isn't my smarts or quick wit but an actual method that works, so I decided I wanted to share that and help people reinvent themselves in the workplace.”
Early in my career, I met many people who planned their career as if they were organizing the invasion of Normandy. With great care, they laid out a detailed plan for how they would reach the top. In fact, I dated a guy who not only reviewed his plan with me but showed me how I fit into it! But, I had other plans. Those plans included working at the White House and a high-tech corporation, achieving a level of career advancement before I got married.
To most people, designing a career is a linear process. They diligently check the box at every step of the ladder. But there is also my own process, which is uninhibitedly pursuing the unexpected or “taking the scenic route.” It may be time for you to take the scenic route, too. Plus, you may not have a choice but to do so.
Our plans for rebooting business and philanthropic prosperity continue to be interrupted. The energy crisis and geopolitical unrest drive business uncertainty and anxiety. At the same time, we see game-changing advances in artificial intelligence, autonomous self-driving vehicles, and investment toward colonizing Mars. The push and pull of adversity and opportunity prevails, and we must accept ambiguity as the new normal. That is why Os’s interview resonated with me so much and why I am excited to share that Starting from Scratch: Manage Change Like Your Career Depends on It is available for pre-order at https://a.co/d/iSXOuV6. This book will give you tools you can use to manage the inflection points of your career.
What lessons did you learn from Os’s interview? Let me know what inspired you by connecting with me on Instagram or LinkedIn. You can also sign up for my newsletter and buy my book, Turnaround: How to Change Course When Things Are Going South, at www.lisagable.com.