I have lost count of the number of times I have heard female professionals tell me that they fell into the role that they are currently doing. The path to their present often involves studying hard, securing a graduate role and then climbing the ranks and getting promotions due to their commitment and dedication to achieving great results.
This is great until it isn’t anymore.
When you wake up after years of hard work and realise that you are not happy in the life and career that you built for yourself, it can feel really frustrating. This moment of realisation will often come after a significant life event such as motherhood, illness, divorce or milestone birthdays (hello turning 40!).
When you reflect on your reason for feeling unhappy, it can often be because the work that the younger version of you decided to do is no longer aligned to who you are now.
I want to let you know that it is okay to change your mind; it is okay to re-define the vision for your future.
There is a reason why CEOs and other c-suite executives will redefine the vision, direction and strategic plans for companies every few years. As both external and internal circumstances change, the company must change and adapt in order to survive. The two most important areas of focus for any company are the vision and the strategy.
Gone are the days where you would join one company and stay there for 30 years. In order to successfully navigate the twists and turns of modern careers, you need to take control of your career development and advancement.
… the critical factor in a woman achieving the top job is still active ownership of her own leadership career.
– Claiming the corner office: Female CEO careers and implications for leadership development, 2018
Taking ownership requires you to step into the CEO role, which starts with creating a new and exciting vision for the next season of your career.
As Stephen R Covey says in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, start with the end in mind.
Deciding where you want to go next is a crucial step – that many overlook – that will allow you to work backwards and figure out your most appropriate strategic steps to take.
Create an unedited, unfiltered vision where you map out what you really want, not just what you think you can have in your career.
Janine Esbrand is an award-winning executive career coach, international speaker and former lawyer. She believes that getting more people into the right roles and career will change the world for the better.
December 1, 2022