Corporate America is experiencing more change than it has in many years.
Most companies have awakened to the need to embrace technology, the reality that they lack diversity, and the need for mental health initiatives while navigating the pandemic and leading from afar.
Those who still did not believe they could trust people to work remotely were given a new dose of reality and proven wrong. As a result, the expectations of leadership and careers are evolving.
So will you follow the career path of those that went before you? The one that got your boss and your boss' boss to their station in life. Will you wait in line for your turn, or may I propose a different option?
Our career path was laid out before us for years, making life easy yet frustrating at times. Instead of focusing on moving up the ladder, focus on the journey.
So how do you differentiate a career path from a journey?
The path is straightforward. The journey is full of exploration.
First, find good...
What are your New Year's traditions?
Resolutions? Goals? A mantra? A bucket list or checklist? What about a word or two? My thought partner and I pick three words each year that we will hold tight to during the highs and lows of the year.
The purpose of these words is to keep us centered, inspired, moving forward, and focused on our goals! However, as I contemplate my words for 2022 (this is a very important and introspective process), I am torn because the word at the top of my list has such a negative connotation.
After a search in the Miriam Webster Dictionary, the Thesaurus, and a little research on the history of this word, I feel an overwhelming need to defend this word. I think it is important for my growth, success, dreams, and maybe yours.
So here it goes, I will say it out loud - at the top of my list, I am choosing UNCOMFORTABLE.
To review, the definition of uncomfortable is: Causing or feeling slight pain or physical discomfort, OR - causing or feeling unease or...
I believe in JOY, even at work. This statement may sound a little Polyana, but I have experienced it in the corporate world and as a coach. I believe you can too. However, it is work (not the job - finding the joy).
Looking for joy? Then it is time to begin your quest for the path that leads you to that magical experience we all deserve. To start, are you even on the right track? Has the career path you have taken brought you something to look forward to next week, next month, or next year? Do you see a clear path ahead for your career?
If the path is correct, then is the work meaningful to you? So many get lost because they start their careers worried about what their parents expected or what their college peers believed they should be doing, and they find it hard to pursue their dreams after a few years in the job market. What do you believe? Whether you are keeping the cafeteria clean at the elementary school or working towards world peace, every job is essential...
When did we stop adulting at work?
Do you have a situation where you or someone you know is not showing up authentically at work? What is keeping leaders from adulting in those critical situations? When did it become so hard to show up as your true self?
Culture. Culture can be a truth killer. Unfortunately, there are still many situations where employees are told "that is not the way we do it" or "it doesn't feel right for our culture." Maybe we are second-guessing ourselves because it has never been done "that way" here. The question should be, but what are the possibilities if we did it "that way" here? We sometimes forget that change can be good, even if it is uncomfortable.
Communication Skills. Maybe adulting feels hard because you have an unpopular point of view and you are don't know exactly how to articulate your case. Maybe you were caught off guard or are in a meeting where difficult decisions are being made or maybe there are...
Are the Golden Handcuffs holding you back? Do you get excited to think about the future but get stuck because you are tied to a benefits package you can't leave behind? In my corporate career as a Talent Acquisition Leader and Recruiter, I watched too many candidates get caught by the golden handcuffs and turn down career-changing opportunities because they focused on the current moment instead of their future.
While negotiations are a part of the process, sometimes tenure in an organization holds you back from building a stronger future. This is because employers create benefits packages that increase as your knowledge and experience increase. So the better you get, the harder you are to replace, and they know it.
When should you consider giving up a sizeable benefits package for something new? Ask yourself these questions:
Your company needs you right now. They are scrambling to bring on talent to the organization, and you sit at your desk waiting for them to make the hire. This new colleague is supposed to take some work off your plate and bring a little more balance to your life.
If these new hires are vital to you and your organization, then it is time to step up.
This move will not only enhance your leadership profile both in the industry and with your company, but it will also get the recruiters singing your praises at work.
Reach out to your Talent Acquisition team to find out what jobs they are struggling to fill and take these steps:
I originally posted the story of my first furlough on my LinkedIn profile the day before I headed back to work. I was surprised by the response I got in the comments and overwhelmed by the private messages.
It gave a voice to many who had similar experiences. Those who had lost their balance, boundaries, and understanding of their worth to the organization.
TODAY I share this with you as a reminder that you deserve a job you LOVE, but your job should not define who you are in life.
The world is changing, and everyone has their own experiences. Every experience is real; the fear and pain is real—this is my experience of spending 30 business days on furlough – and mine alone.
Here is how it went down - I got the news on Wednesday that I would be starting furlough the following Monday. I am one of those crazy people that loves to go to work EVERY DAY. For someone who has worked consistently for as many years as I have, it was hard news. My...
Do you believe that the grass is greener?
I absolutely believe the grass is greener, but like everything else in life, it is situational. The key to a good move is running to something instead of running from something. To do that, you have to make sure that you have gotten the most out of your experience with your current employer.
The benefits of tenure are often underestimated. However, time in position gives you certain milestones that will take longer to develop when frequently changing jobs.
Take problem-solving, for example; it is easy to walk into a new situation and be a superstar. But can you build and sustain a long-term strategy of success? Can you beat last year's numbers? You build real grit when you stay through the good times and the bad.
Let's talk about relationships, and be honest...not everyone has been a joy to work with during your career. However, longevity in a position helps you build your influencing skills....
Think back as your career grew - who was there for you? Every leader that has popped in and out of your career has had some significance, but you probably did not realize it at the time.
A few stood out as I reflected on how the leaders I had worked for impacted my growth and career.
My first leader
My first leader approached every day looking for a way to build my confidence and help me succeed. She would pull me aside and say, "you know, if it were me, I would do it this way." Or, "you know Lisa (her boss) would be very impressed if you.........." and she would follow it up with "take it - it's your idea," she would smile and walk off. She let me cut my chops, make lots of mistakes, wanted me to feel good about myself and become confident in making decisions.
The one that gave me the big break
I knew what I wanted to do, but HR said that I was "in no way qualified." Way to let you down easy! So he protested and said that he would do without if they were not...
It wasn't my plan to write about closing the loop, but it came up in three conversations this week. So before we get started - here is a recap of the stories shared with me this week.
One connection of mine told of a story where two separate people had reached out because their company needed someone with her skills, but she never heard back.
The second example came when a friend told me of her frustrations with people reaching out to network, but once she responds, she hears nothing for weeks. She was especially frustrated because they were the one that needed the favor.
The third was a client discussing the age-old story of being ghosted by a recruiter.
Do any of these situations sound familiar? With each person, I tried to play devil's advocate about what may have happened. The job filled faster than they expected, life gets busy, and delivering bad news is never easy. But is it fair to make excuses for these people?
Before I get on my soapbox, we have all done...