The world is a chaotic place these days. It’s hard to know what we can count on when we see the unexpected and unsettling events of terrorism, Brexit, coups, racial tensions, financial market volatility, oil industry downturns…sometimes it feels like everything is happening all at once.
These are the times we look toward what we know and value. The subject of this month’s article challenges us to take charge of ourselves to create calm in charting our career path.
In August I roll out the first two modules of Creating Your Career Opportunities™. On August 24, Building a Solid Career Foundation addresses how to find that clarity and fulfillment in your career path. August 25 kicks off Strategically Develop Advocates, where you’ll learn how to create a network to support you in your career. Click here for more info.
There can be solid ground under your feet…read on to learn more.
Is Your Career Path Out of Your Hands?
p>In uncertain times it can feel like our career is out of our hands. There are so many external people and events out of our control that we can begin to feel like we’re rolling with the tide.
When we feel like we’re not in control of ourselves or our career, we become weary and disillusioned.
Here are some comments I’ve heard from professional women:
“I’m ready to move on, but they need me until next year.”
“I should take this job because I don’t know if there will be another one.”
“My kids need me but I’m reluctant to let my boss know so I just keep it inside and manage my work after the kids go to bed. I feel like I’m in stealth mode.”
Each one of these comments has behind it the potential for a career detour.
The Three Career Detours
When you are making career decisions (or defaulting to someone else’s decisions), there are three things that can take you off track:
being emotionally tugged by others;
lack of clarity about what you want;
or being influenced by the expectations of others.
To feel in charge of our careers and avoid the detours, we need to have clarity of mind. Overwhelmed is the most common word I hear from women when asked how they feel. That feeling of being overwhelmed is often rooted in chaos and confusion…a lack of clear thinking, which then leads to poor decision making, or no decision at all.
Here are five actions you can take to bring clarity of mind and combat the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Clarity begins with distance. It doesn’t have to be a long distance, but we need to remove ourselves from the place of stress. Maybe it’s a weekend to ourselves, maybe it’s a vacation, maybe something even simpler. The key is to get away from work, including all electronics. Remove yourself from the source of stress and confusion.
Move your body. Exercise stimulates the mind and the body. It creates relaxation and just makes us feel better. If you’re not into cardio, try a yoga class. I always feel stronger and more confident after yoga.
Create variety. Experiencing something out of your routine can break the sense of being “stuck”. Tailor it to your personality. For some it might be skydiving; for me it would be going to a new art exhibition.
Discover what is lounging in your mind. Journal daily, or at least every few days. Simply writing down what you are feeling, without censoring it, often brings new insight to the situation.
Inject new thinking into the situation. Intentionally seek out an objective perspective on your situation. You can take a course, seek the guidance of a mentor, read a book, hire a coach. To have a new solution to an old problem, you’re going to have to look at it in a new way.
With these steps, you’ll find that you’re now ready to take action to regain a sense of control over your life and career. A simple first step would be to sign up for the August 24 virtual workshop, Build A Solid Career Foundation. You’ll gain the value from the course content plus a personal one on one coaching session. Introductory pricing of $100 is less than the cost of the coaching session.
You can be in charge of your career. It starts with clarity of mind.
“Why Diversity Programs Fail (And what works better)” by Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev, Harvard Business Review, July-August 2016; The researchers found that traditional diversity programs are not very effective. However, engaging managers, exposing people to diverse groups and encouraging social accountability have shown promising results. They have good things to say about mentoring programs, too.
Susan Hodge created Women Leading Together in order to provide seminars, workshops, and coaching circles to help career women move forward to create fulfilling careers. Visit our website at www.WomenLeadingTogether.com.