I wanted to share a story of a friend of mine who I could tell was really struggling at work. By struggling, I mean she was livid. She had so many ideas, would voice concerns, and was met with silence or told that her ideas were not a priority for the company at that time.
I'm no career coach, but as a friend I remember us grabbing a drink and talking through everything that was going on, her frustration palpable. I recommended she do the following things - and if you find yourself in a similar situation, I recommend you do the same.:
1. Document your ideas. What do you wish your company was doing today that it is not? What ideas you have, or strategy components you wish they would listen to? Write it down. This helps get clarity around your personal talk track, and crystalize proof points in your mind so you can rattle them off later.
2. Sketch out what an ideal job looks like. Take a step back from what you are doing today. What parts of your job do you like? What do you dislike? What would you be SO happy doing all day, every day? Combine this section with your ideas listed prior.
3. Invest time in building your personal brand. Talk about your ideas! Just because you are working at a company, doesn't mean you have to operate in a silos. Use platforms like personal blogs, or LinkedIn to write articles about your ideas. This will force you to further sharpen your ideas, not to mention market yourself and your expertise to the world as well as give reading material to potential employers that may want to hire you one day.
4. Have "the talk". Personally, I'm of the belief that you should be straight with your employer, which may be your boss / manager. Talk to them about your pain points, where you are frustrated or blocked, and share what you want to be doing. More often then not, they may have no idea and be happy for you to pursue your areas of interest or be willing to listen to your ideas. And if they are not, you now have that knowledge - and a fairly clear conscience - as you proceed to step 5.
5. Make the decision. You've put it all out there, communicated that you are unhappy and may or may not like the answers that you get. Will more money make you stay? Did you ask for it, or did they offer it? If no, is it time to start looking around at roles at other companies that match your ideal job sketch you drafted in step #2?
As for my friend? She is happily settled in at her new job, now 2 months later from when we first sat down at the bar. If this story resonates with you, I encourage you to take the above exercise and apply it to yourself. And if you do make the decision to jump, use this interviewing guide to keep your organized.
Life's too short to walk around so frustrated, and there are plenty of opportunities for hardworking people like yourself. Good luck!
I feel like we are all born with innate talents when we are younger, but if we grow up in a culture that doesn't nurture or encourage those gifts, it creates misalignment within us.
Today, I want you to think about what it is about yourself that you can reclaim. I think this is a lifelong process, and I encourage you to look at what you are drawn to or keep coming back to.
Think about how you can:
I hope one of these methods of reclamation resonates with you. It can be very restoring after life takes a toll on us to stand up for ourselves. Pausing for reflection on the above will help you break free of ingrained limitations, reclaim what makes you strong, and empower you to move forward.
This may initially sound counterintuitive with the whole go-go-go, “Lean In” thing, but hear me out.
I know that I am a pretty anxious creature: in general, I think it’s fair to say that many working women know what we want and we want it NOW. What I’m arguing is that operating at 100 mph at all times is not sustainable. You are surely on the track for burnout at that speed.
What I propose instead is that you resolve yourself to a practice of patience: know that you are building the foundation for something successful in the future. And like anything worth working towards in life, that takes time: which sometimes means we have to wait longer than we’d like to.
But rushing towards your goals isn’t natural, and patience isn’t really talked about as something valuable. Does anyone really WANT to become workaholic? Do you have an impatient coworker or boss, and are they fun to be around? Just like children can’t rush growing up, getting to your end goal will happen exactly when it needs to: and you need to accept that it may not be today.
That’s not to say you can’t have steady determination to reach your goals. Those who struggle with patience can be tempted to give up on something because they don’t want to wait. The delays working women deal with on a daily basis are very discouraging and frustrating. They lead to even more anxiety because many times these delays are out of our control.
I want to challenge you to face your delays with patience. Build up your skills, put in the work to take yourself to the next level, and pick your battles. If you have the patience, resolve, grit and persistence to hold out for the right time, you’ll have less resistance and make more progress. Patience is an asset, and for working moms like myself, our patience is tested on a daily basis, and my capacity for patience has grown exponentially since I became a mother.
So try not to sweat the small stuff, as you have a bigger picture in mind. Stay the course, continue to show up and work towards growth but don’t rush to get there.
I'm a motivated, self-starting marketer and working mom looking to make a difference in the world - one story at a time.
Let's get you set up for success!
Have a podcast? Let's talk.