Career DevelopmentLB's Corner
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Stop Self-Limiting Your Career Possibilities
Lauren BaileyPosted on

There’s a scent of possibility in the air. Have you clocked it? I caught it somewhere between a no-facemask gas station and accepting a fly-to-me speaking gig. The world is starting to feel more open. My choices for the kid’s summer camps were slim, but then something amazing happened. There was a hole left in the schedule. Right after robotics camp and before the start of school, there’s a vacation-sized possibility in my calendar. Have you seen it too?

Listen, I’m not just a casual traveler. I log passport stamps like normal people prize collectibles…um…what do people collect these days? I’ve never quite grasped non-experience collecting, but clearly, people do it. In my case, I required my husband to have a current passport before our second date. I’m that obsessed.

So here it is; Opportunity. Glorious possibility! I rush to my bucket list: the Northern Lights, Machu Picchu, a Tuscan villa (you’ve seen “Under the Tuscan Sun”, right?). Only now doesn’t quite seem like the time for those. “Let’s just do a quickie to Cancun with the kids,” I think. The kids who I haven’t been apart from in a meaningful (read: relaxing) way in at least 18 months. I’m stuck. This should be exhilarating! But it really isn’t. It feels a bit overwhelming and stressful, and one more thing on my list. Now it’s even sadder because something I love feels, well, kind of sad.

This is not unlike a career move. Ladies, you KNEW it was coming right? 

Really, the feeling is similar. What I am really open to considering right now is my first-tier or second-tier bubble. I want to be further than I’ve gone during quarantine but not across the ocean. I’m disappointed in my self-imposed limitation.

I see the same in our #GirlsClub cohorts. To be clear, these are ambitious, smart, hard-working women. And the majority of them are investigating advancement only in their first-tier or second-tier bubbles; current company, past company, nearby company, a company where they know someone. If they’re stretching a little, then MAYBE a 2-hour flight that doesn’t include an ocean (working virtually). But definitely not where they speak a foreign language (new industry). While a number of them are thinking “Really, it’s a lot of work to do that research and I’m fine here for now. Maybe soon.”

What I’m talking about is limitation. Worse, self-imposed limitation. I’m writing this so that we can recognize it together – because that’s step one in crushing it. I’m talking about the surprise you feel when something is post-pandemic open: 

  • A mask isn’t required 
  • Dine-in is an option
  • Now accepting reservations

Let’s feel the surprise, the rush, and yes, the moment of panic and doubt. It’s OK to expand our bubbles, but it feels strange. We could eat sushi and someone could bring us wine (YES!) But I just saw five people congregating and nobody wore a mask…

I invite you to lean into unshackling and keep seeking it! How many other restrictions have you been living so long that you no longer recognize them? What else is normal now that shouldn’t be?

Every single week I get contacted by heads of sales asking for talent. Top reps, aspiring managers, current leaders. And we’ve been shouting long enough that they’re actively seeking diversity (Psst, that’s you). Really. Every. Single. Week.

Are you ready to raise your hand?

I can hear you over there! “Yeah, but it would have to be flexible like what I have now,” “I’m actually up for promotion right now,” “I would really need to learn more first as I don’t know the first thing about that product,” “There are probably more qualified candidates but I guess I could learn more.”

This is driving to the local Hilton, ladies. Don’t STAYcation, VACATE (ion). 

Let’s all find more ways to leave our bubbles behind!

The world is OPEN! Rip off your mask (optional 😉 ), raise your hand, and say YES! 

#GirlsClub Participants, here’s one way: This Fall, we’re going to feature every #GirlsClub graduate in a yearbook. That’s right, for the first time, we’re advertising the awesome talent in our cohort. I want every one of you to get a job offer before the year is out. Lean in, fill out your profile and see what the world has to offer.

It doesn’t mean you don’t love your company, boss, job, culture, co-workers, clients, family, or country. 😉 

It just means you’re open to the possibilities. So give a nod to the short feeling of panic (that guy getting coffee isn’t 6 feet away from me!) and then embrace the feeling of freedom (I just got out of the car without digging for my mask!) Let’s keep giving air to the possibilities and make sure our post-Covid bubbles are a bit bigger and roomier than they were before.

Got questions about the yearbook, appearing in a future copy, or how to get your hands on a copy? Contact #GirlsClub Program Director Angela Salazar at Angela@WeAreGirlsClub.com 

Comment
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Elena Hesse

Wonderful article, LB. And you are so spot on. If a promotion or new challenge feels 100% comfortable, you are not nervous about it, or your palms are not sweaty, let me break it to you. You either have already been doing this job and they have not recognized you for it, or its not the position for you! Feeling unsure and a combination of excited and anxious is NORMAL. If you do not feel these legitimate sometimes scary things, you are not living, leaning or earnestly following through with your plan. You are awesome, remember that.

June 30, 2021 at 4:15 pm
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