There are certain moments in our lives that we recall as life changing & life altering. In this post I will be transparent about a defining, or should I say re-defining moment in my professional life.
At the time I was working night shift for the local sheriff's department. That was my permanent job. At the same time I was honeymooning with a temporary agency as a receptionist on the day shift. I was young and full of energy! In my early 20's and a recent college graduate I had the rest of my life in front of me. Which in my innocence, included conquering the professional world and offering my unbelievable skills as a phenomenal Leader and "smart chic" to the globe.
It was a slow night, and there was a lull in the usual brisk pace of night court life. Lisa (named changed to protect the innocent) called me over to her look at her green screen. In her tone I could tell she had some juicy information to share. "Can you believe this?", she squealed
pointing to the monitor. There it was, the salary of a top official who had been recently booked into our ‘Humble Hotel Accommodations’. "That's all! That's it!" I exclaimed in a loud whisper. Lisa and I had often talked about how we would take the department by storm and drag each other along to the top of the heap while also taking glamorous vacations, taking care of our parents and finding love and happiness. Clearly, that would not be the case if we remained "here".
After getting over the shock and amazement, we then embarked on a mission to find salaries of top officials within the department. It was at that time we confirmed our greatest fears. Even after working and climbing the ladder for 15 years, 25 years that was all they would ever get paid. Lisa and I then agreed, we had to get out and quickly! But what would we do?
At the time I was un-married with no children. After doing some research and asking other professionals, returning to school for a graduate degree was my choice. I felt rushed, time was fleeting and there was none to waste. I worked feverishly to save all that I could. For two semesters, it was full-time work and full-time graduate program. Eventually, I resigned from the full-time position to become a full-time student. Most understood and encouraged me. Some did not understand! "You just graduated not even two years ago! Get a husband and settle down," they would advise. I ignored them and I'm glad that I did!
This is the story that set me on a different path and a different course professionally speaking.
Others told me, "But you're doing well!"
My response, often internally, "Not well enough!"
Others suggested, "You're too young to know what you want!"
My response, "That's the best time to take a risk to find out!"
Your inner voice will demand, "You waited too long. Life got in the way & it's too late!"
My response, "There are classic cars on the road that outrun and outshine a newer ones!"
Your inner voice will scream, "You're not good enough!"
My response, "There is a treasure beneath the surface screaming to be seen. Start the process of shedding."
I share this story with all who read this inaugural blog for two reasons:
1. Your vision for your career, business & life will not fit for others. It is okay.
There is something deep within each of us that wants to succeed. The reason that it is deep within is because it is YOURS ONLY. No one else is responsible for bringing it to pass. As women, we often seek the approval of others before making a decision, moving forward. I challenge you to step forward with your vision. Align with others who can identify with your desire to dominate in your space...without excuse.
2. Don't settle! If you want more, want to truly level up and progress, then work hard & learn the next steps to achieve more.
There are exterior circumstances that suppress the realization. Let's be real! Find others who have stories of overcoming obstacles and be encouraged by their perseverance and subsequent success. Learn the process and study others that have accomplished it, turned their careers around, moved from one career and started a business, excelled in leadership. There are exterior circumstances that suppress the realization. Learn and watch the steps that others have taken to walk the road to success.
3. There is no such thing as too late to get started, re-invent or re-focus!
As women, it may be the case that you have spent time helping, encouraging, supporting, lifting and giving to others. Others will include spouse, children, siblings, parents, friends, sisters in ministry, co-workers. Innately, women are nurturers! In itself, this is not a negative quality that women should at all be ashamed of.
There's a now famous video of a little girl attempting to buckle her seat belt. She's struggling as her father offers to assist. Her response has guided me in not looking to others, at others, for others. She says repeatedly, "Worry 'bout yourself!" She was so focused on her vision (buckling herself in), doing it herself as a declared independent and not waiting for anyone else to validate her desires. Her sister looked on, as others will, questioning her actions, longings and the seeming inconvenience of it all. But guaranteed, no one felt more proud than this toddler upon accomplishing her goal.
Do not stand at the wall of career coma looking around for others to guide, help or embrace you. I encourage you to start again and worry about yourself!
3 Tips That Will Help Conquer the Wall:
Acknowledge the wall! Whatever it represents - the static career, professional doom, the looming leadership cloud or that ever draining relationship.
Stop looking around at what others are accomplishing while devaluing your own dreams.
Stand on your desire to lead better, achieve more and walk your own pathway to success in career, business & life.
Best of luck to you as you look to your next level and Lead to Power!
P.S. If you're not apart of our Facebook Group, come join us!! Currently we are hosting a Lunch N Learn Series on subjects to help you get started. It is a community of women looking to raise the bar individually and collectively, be it career, business or life. What ails you? Let's talk about it.
Katrina Booker has been working with professionals & women in business for over ten years. She provides career and business coaching services, as well as, leadership insight and advice. Her educational background in business and leadership experience has given her a base from which to approach many topics - especially overcoming the frustrations of career life and expanding personal leadership style. She especially enjoys giving insight on leadership challenges, creative solutions to inefficiencies and career challenges.