The start of 2017 was unusual for me. I’m normally enthused by the new year, engaged in goal setting and ready to get on with it. This year was different. I don’t know exactly why, but I found myself in a more reflective mode.
I was asking myself questions such as, “Why do I choose to spend my time where I do?” “Why don’t I eliminate some of my activities to make life easier?” “Where is my career headed in 2017?” “How would I feel if I just stopped working?” Yep, I actually asked myself that one.
When I reflect I go into a “space” where I mentally test how a decision would play out. When I slow down to listen and feel, the answer is always in my heart. This January, I received clarity on the questions above. Here’s the answer I received:
YOU are the reason I love coaching.
My most energized, satisfying moments are when I’m working with my clients and watching them feel confident, gain personal insight and achieve their goals.
In 2017 Women Leading Together will go onward and upward with more coaching programs, more workshops, more speaking engagements and more clients. Because you are what keeps me going.
Now I’m excited about the new year. See the sidebar on this newsletter and in the future for webinars and workshops coming up in the next few weeks. Contact me if you’d like to learn more about executive coaching for your career. I’d love to see you flourish in 2017.
What is it that gets you excited about your career?
Where Is Your Career Headed in 2017?
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same…
The Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken” is arguably the most popular poem in US literature. Its phrases have been used in songs, television titles, book titles and are some of the most commonly searched.
Faced with the realities of tradeoffs we make every day, we find comfort in the final phrase, “I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference.” As ambitious, high achieving people, we want to believe that we’re choosing the right path for ourselves. Given that we can’t do it all (“And sorry I could not travel both”) we assure ourselves that we are spending our one and only life without regret.
For many of us, that means pushing ahead in our careers in the face of obstacles, challenges, competing priorities, very little time and much personal sacrifice. Why not take a different path? Why not settle for less, forget that promotion, be comfortable with where we are? As I noted above, I recently asked myself, “Why not make life easier?”
The answer is this:
It wouldn’t be easier. Because it’s not me. If you’re reading this, “easy” is not likely you, either.
If I backed off my career, or if I let myself get distracted from my goals here’s what would be missing for me:
The feeling of satisfaction that comes from doing work with a purpose.
The energy that comes from being creative and solving problems.
The intellectual engagement with talented clients and business leaders.
The joy derived from experiencing a client’s success, knowing that I made a positive contribution.
The fun of sharing common experiences with other women engaged in business.
The sense of accomplishment at having achieved a long-desired objective.
You, too, have a list of what would be missing if you get distracted from your goals. Your list may be different than mine. If you’re not sure what your list would be, let’s work on that together. We all have the opportunity and the responsibility to use the talents we’ve been given.
Where IS your career headed in 2017? Are you clear on how to get to your goals? It’s easy to be tempted to postpone your agenda until the kids are older, the industry recovers, this project is over, my boss is ready, etc. All the while you are postponing, precious days, weeks and months are passing by.
My message this month is short and clear: Take action now to achieve what you want. Go after what gives you satisfaction and fulfillment.
If you need support, call me, seek out advocates, take a class, make a proposal to your boss…whatever it takes to get you one step further down the path to your goals.
As career minded women, what we do isn’t always easy. But it is rewarding…in many ways.
Free Webinar: Boost Your Career in a Business Downturn – February 17, 11:30 – 12:30 CT Click here to register.
Women in Leadership Conference February 10 at Rice University: I’ll be speaking at this very dynamic conference of talented women. Click here for more info.
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.