5 Career Accelerators That Will Keep You From Thriving ProfessionallyDec 11, 2019
As we look toward the new year in a couple of weeks, it's a great time to evaluate your goals and what you want. It's also the perfect time to look at what's not working and how to make the necessary adjustments for tremendous success.
Over the last 20 years coaching and training professionals around the world, I've watched women build careers they thought would make them happy, only to wake up one day to realize they're anything but happy and confused on how they go there. Trying to hide or deny that they're miserable, they start the "job hop" process searching for something more out of panic or fear. But it doesn't work. Ultimately, they do work that lacks meaning, impact, and the compensation they know they deserve.
But there's something magical that happens when women come into my tribe and begin to repair the damage to their confidence and get clear on what they're meant to do in the world. While these high-achieving women come to me frustrated and confused, once I'm able to diagnose what's been holding them back and the barriers that have kept them from thriving in their life and career, these women become warriors and courageous leaders.
That's when my job gets exciting, and frankly, fun.
The first step is to make a decision, commit, stop doing what you've been doing, and start doing things differently.
It's not easy, particularly for women. My research has found that it takes a shift in their thoughts and an alteration of their story to master the career accelerators and have the career they truly want.
What are career accelerators?
Career accelerators are the levers necessary to advance or accelerate your career forward. Without clarity, confidence, and a commitment to change, it can be challenging, if not impossible, to pull these levers and achieve the goal of having a fulfilling career and doing meaningful work.
Accelerator #1: Failing to Unveil Your Superpowers
As we step into midlife, it's common for self-doubt to creep in around who we are and whether or not we have anything significant to offer. When my clients get into this space, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to see the plethora of unique gifts, skills, strengths, and abilities they offer the world.
When you've had a successful career in a particular, you can become myopic and singular about what you can do. As a result, the focus tends to be on what you don't know, skills or education you don't have, or tasks and functions you can't do.
Until you can get clear on all of that you have to offer or unveil what I call your superpowers, you won't be able to leverage or monetize them for a fulfilling and thriving career.
Accelerator #2 - Operating Without a Vision
Proverbs 29:18 says, "Without a vision, the people will perish," and this is particularly true for those who want a thriving career. Unfortunately, so many women I've worked with never honestly had a vision for a career other than the typical "great title and high income." So when asked what they want, they often don't have a clear answer.
If you've lost that vision for what you wanted to be when you grew up or never had one, to begin with, you're more likely to be trapped in a job or career you hate. It takes clarity of vision to have the courage to go after what you want.
Accelerator #3 - Lacking the Art of Self-Promotion
Studies have shown that women struggle with communicating their accomplishments. They believe they'll come across as arrogant, "bragging," or as if they're trying to take the spotlight or credit. On average, women tend to wait for others to notice and acknowledge their accomplishments or successes, and as a result, their contributions are less remembered and celebrated. In addition, women have been taught to play small, which has created a clear gender bias regarding how we're perceived when we stand in our leadership and power.
However, acknowledging your achievements will advance your confidence, competence, and courage, allowing you to make a more significant impact. As Marianne Williamson noted, "Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking…As we let our light shine, we unconsciously permit other people to do the same." Learn to celebrate your wins and successes. What you focus on expands, so spend time acknowledging your achievements AND celebrating them.
Accelerator #4 - Giving In To Your Kryptonite
Many women asking to be coached by me or join a career coaching program are plagued by a horrible boss, struggling with the imposter syndrome, feeling ostracized at work, or having trouble speaking up for themselves. I call these things, and other mindset gremlins, kryptonite. When women give into their kryptonite, they tend to isolate, fail to seek support and guidance, and cannot network effectively. However, it's at this time that you need to connect to a community of support.
Without a powerful support system, you'll severely limit your opportunities for access, growth, and exciting new roles or promotions. So get the support you need to deal with those mental barriers, real and imagined.
Accelerator #5 - You Don't Believe
There's a scene in the movie The Matrix when Morpheus told Neo, "You gotta let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, disbelief. Free your mind." In many ways, I feel like the Morpheous to my client's Neo, reminding them that, "I can only show you the door...you have to walk through it." But, unfortunately, therein usually lies the problem.
Career advancement, change, and growth requires a little faith and belief in the unknown, and walking through an obscure door can feel scary. However, when you have clarity and knowledge of self, your vision, your gifts, and your path, it's easier to have faith in your ability to achieve your goals on the other side. But the question that stops so many dead in their tracks is, "What if I fail?" Are you ready for the answer? "So, what if you do?"
You see, the problem isn't whether you fail or succeed; the problem is your perception of failure and your lack of belief. Everything that happens to you in your career is nothing more than an opportunity for your growth, development, and learning. This new knowledge equips you to take on (and overcome) greater obstacles and challenges and enhances your competency and self-efficacy.
Tap into the inner strength, power, faith, and belief. Once you do, you'll expand your capacity for ambiguity and reach new heights in your life and career.
As you review this list of career accelerators, assess where you're situated within each of them. Once you're clear, get support for added accountability and then craft a plan of action that will help you step into your calling and design a thriving career.
To identify the barriers that may negatively impact your life and career, join us in The Career Rebel Academy.
You can also watch my AM Northwest Morning Show segment, Making a Midlife Career Change.