5 September 2021
I’ve never been a fan of having a 5 or 10 year career plan… or anything that puts you in a box.
I believe you should shape your career the way you want it to, especially when, inevitably, changes happen. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that embracing changes and adjusting to them will always be better than trying to resist them.
My entire life, I did everything “right'' and my career was flourishing - I was a leader, I led a great team,, I found systems that helped me do my job well… But something deep down didn’t let me truly enjoy it all.
My own self-doubts and limiting beliefs stopped me from that. But it was ok, it was normal. I know now I had it in me to change that, but I just wasn’t able to see it at the time.
If you can relate to this, stay with me for 4 lessons I can share with you from experience to help you navigate this period and ultimately become happier as a woman and as a leader.
According to the HR News, burnout rates have gone up 24% in 2020 compared to the previous years in the UK. That’s saying a lot about how we prioritise work over our mental and physical health - and why we shouldn’t.
Now, the “back to school” season is here. Some of us are excited, some of us wish the holidays lasted a bit longer.
The truth is… Everyone feels a bit estranged from their career and their success at some point in their lives. It can feel scary to realise this, but please remember that you’re not alone.
The good news? I can tell you from experience that it gets so much better once you’ve navigated that strange period - especially because you can make changes that last.
As a leader, you’re driven to keep going, to do everything well, to not make mistakes, to overcome obstacles fast.
It’s respectable, but it’s not sustainable. It’ll eventually burn you out and make you forget why you started on this career path.
So, in order to keep that sparkle for your career alive or to start feeling empowered in your career again, slow down and breathe for a few moments. Look around you. Practice mindfulness. Remember that it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon - every experience, mistakes, and learning will shape you into a stronger, more resilient leader.
Give yourself permission to take it all in and enjoy it. You deserve it.
If you’re anything like I was, you’re experiencing a lot of self-doubt even though all the proof that you’re capable is there. As a perfectionist, nothing seems to be good enough.
That’s just a trick our mind plays on us. It’s a defense mechanism our brains developed over thousands of years. Remember that saying “don’t believe everything you think”? It’s now more important than ever.
Self-doubt also comes from forgetting who you are - your strengths, what makes you special, your career’s “why”, the hard work that got you here, the experience, your personality… We’re often so entangled in the negative parts of ourselves and our lives that we forget all the beautiful, positive things that shaped us.
Drop some of the good stuff in, see how it feels.
Here’s a quick step-by-step:
Remember that your value isn’t decided by anybody else but you. You’re already worthy regardless of external validation
Now, think about your fantastic characteristics, your strengths, your quirks - everything that makes you, you.
Empower yourself, don’t wait for others to do it.
When you started on this path, you had a purpose. Maybe even a bigger life purpose in which your career plays a part. Think about it and see what needs adjusting to feel inspired by that again.
3. Step out of your comfort zone
At the beginning, you were in a constant learning process. It was exhilarating and engaging. But as you become more and more senior, you find yourself putting out fires rather than learning. You’re very good at what you’re doing, but you don’t feel challenged (in a good way) anymore.
To rekindle that “beginner” light again, get outside of your comfort zone for a while. Learn something new. Take on different tasks (but NOT at the expense of your own time, which is essential). Why not even feel a little nervous sometimes? If done mindfully, it can make you excited about your career again.
But please, remember: stepping out of your comfort zone may also bring out the self-doubt we’ve talked about just above. That’s not why I’m suggesting this. I’m suggesting it because it’s a way to empower yourself again.
Do it while holding your hand, not putting pressure on yourself.
One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to invest in myself and my happiness. From things I’ve truly wanted to coaches that changed my life, I actively made it my mission to stop saying “no!” to myself or to wait for my company to invest in my personal and professional development.
You are in charge of making sure you have all the tools you need to lead the life you want. From material things to mindset things, seeking growth outside of work is key.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with many coaches over the years. They helped me navigate periods of my life that I really needed support with, and I’m thankful for all the wisdom they gave me - most importantly, they helped me change my mindset and finally see the powerful woman and leader I’ve always been.
When it comes to your career, remember that it’s still the career you chose many years ago and you’ve worked so hard to be the leader you are today. Vote for yourself - the one you were then and the one you are now - and try to apply these tips to get back into the driver seat of your career.
Loving your career is a choice. Choose what makes you happy.
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As a certified life coach, Jeni helps busy, successful women ditch overwhelm & selfdoubt & rediscover their energy, passion & freedom with proven strategies.