You know what is great about most careers for successful professional and executive women?
There are a number of items I could list, but they really come down to a couple of key items. Professional recognition, intellectual stimulation and challenge, a solid and reliable income, professional and personal relationships. All of these items are generally positive, and they also support your longer term career goals.
Yet, sometimes they are not clicking or working for you. Even if they used to be. Even if nothing has really changed other than your perception, your readiness for something new or your mindset.
The thing is … they also do not become so negative that they are working against you. You are not recognized as much as you would like. The opportunity for new projects and challenges are fewer and far between causing you to be less stimulated than you would like. Your income is steady – and has been for 3 years because contributions are frozen and bonuses are stuck at a low level. Still, it's steady, and you generally enjoy what you are doing and who you work with.
Yep. You are settling and accepting comfortable security instead of looking for new challenges and risks outside of your current environment. I'd challenge you to see this as the very time that you should be creating your new beginning. Use this period of stability as the foundation for what you want to create – whether that is a new business, a promotion or a flexible work arrangement within your current responsibilities.
If you are wondering why these ideas are not at the top of your list, it's important to keep in mind that being comfortable is often what we want. We like the security and familiarity of knowing what to expect. That security can include being underchallenged and even bored. At some point, it does become more familiar and routine than you want. And then you just want to change … now.
Instead of waiting for that time of frustration to come, why not start now when you have the energy and the time to develop your ideas and plans? Use these strategies to get started.
- Assess the areas where you are settling. Just make a list. Is it weekly staff meetings that are a waste of time? Is it going to the office every day when you could easily work remotely during slower times? Is it the staff person who does just well enough but is holding the team back? Is it not being challenged with new project? Not getting a raise or being recognized as an expert?
- Pick one or two of these areas and brainstorm ideas for change. Which ones are not overly important – it can the one that bugs you the most or the least. Just pick one that you KNOW you will take action on and not rationalize your way out of. You need to take action so pick one that will get you started now.
- Commit to taking action on ONE CHANGE idea in the next 24 hours. The Nike slogan is overused but it still works. Just. Do. It. Procrastinating? Go back to step 2 and pick a different one that will make you move. And then move. Go.
I find that when my clients get stuck in settling one area often get stuck in other places, too. So, yes, evaluate the impact of any change you are making on the proportion you want to keep across your priorities. But, also know, that opening up the gates in one area often have positive ripples to the other areas.
I challenge you to stop settling and to take your ideas and actions to the next level. These steps absolutely work for any area of your life that have slipped into boredom, sameness or even mediocrity. Use them on your health, your relationships or your scheduling habits. Just use them! And let me know what you are doing and how it is working for you.