Are you running away from the problem or towards an opportunity?
Have you ever had the feeling that you just had enough, and it was time to dust off your resume? Or that you have hit a glass ceiling and you are really stuck? You notice how your engagement is decreasing and you have no idea how to snap yourself out of this feeling of being powerless?
I remember this very well. Landing what I thought was my dream job only to realize that the culture that comes with the job goes against so many of my internal values. And then the feeling of slow panic.
What do I do now? I should be grateful for this opportunity. I should be able to succeed in any role if I am smart and capable, so saying out loud that this was a mistake felt like it was really not an option. So I did what I thought was the only option…..I left with the first opportunity that came my way.
What I have not realized then, was that I might have left the company and the job I could not relate to, but I could not outrun the things that should have been addressed in the first place:
Looking back, I can appreciate how many supportive people I had around me, who were really cheering me on. They could see me disengaging but could not put their finger on the cause of it.
I was putting a brave, ambitious face on it all. I am sure if I went to them and asked their advice, we would have found a solution for me to stay within an organization that I loved.
Inner self doubt.
Imposter syndrome is well documented by now and women tend to suffer from it more than men.
The only way to address it is through taking action and growing confidence, through experience. This is definitely one of those areas where you have to feel the fear and do it anyway.
Knowing my values and purpose.
Usually when we start feeling disengaged from what we do, it is a signal that we are not living from our values, or that we are off course from our purpose.
In order to align ourselves with the work we do, we first and foremost need to know what those values are and what is our overall purpose and how it can be translated in to the work purpose.
Knowing our values and purpose can help us to navigate how we show up at our work. Do it our way, not worrying about how it is done by others.
Owning my strengths.
There is no one way to do a job to be successful. It is dangerous to fall into the trap of following a belief system of what it takes to be a successful salesperson, CEO, expert or a leader.
The best chance of us tapping into our full potential is through understanding what we are exceptionally good at and what blind spots we need to be aware of. Only owning both will help us grow.
It is easier said than done, though, even when I work with really accomplished professionals, we very often stumble on to the beliefs they have around certain roles and why they are not good enough to do them yet. Some of the concerns are valid, but many other times it is more about the stereotype we have around the role: for me to be a CEO I need to become better at finance and be able to make decisive decisions, without feeling guilty how it affects people. I will never be a good sales person because I am not competitive and pushy enough. These are just couple examples that point to the belief system much more than the reality.
Looking back, I realise that all of the above concerns could have been addressed through mentoring and coaching. And with the benefit of reflection I now know, that these above themes followed me through my professional life, until I took steps to address them. They did not leave me just because I left the organization. They left me or were transformed because I took action to work on it (and the work still continues).
Sometimes leaving is absolutely the right thing to do. We just need to make sure we explored the real reason for leaving, so we do not carry unwanted baggage with us to our new employer.
So before you decide, sit down ant take time to reflect: are you running away from the problem or are you moving towards opportunity?
Dovile Corrigan, Azkua Strenghts Expert