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Things I Learned from Decades of Being a Career Woman

Is this the right career path for me?

Should I stay with this company for security of tenure? Or, should I find better opportunities in other companies?

Do I continue working freelance? Or, do I go back to be a full-time employee while I still can?

Should I apply for a promotion? Or, do I need to gain more experience in my current position?

With almost 40 years of career history, I’ve experienced letting go of a job and being let go from a job—all for different personal and professional reasons.

Being a career woman, there were times when things were too much for me to handle, especially since I’m also a parent. I’ve often shared that one of my greatest struggles as a working mom was not having enough time with my children, especially when they were still young.

Because I hardly ever saw them, my daughter used to post written notes on my mirror before she went to bed. She would write, “Hugs and kisses Mama.” I would read those in the morning and respond using sticky notes too. There were no cellphones yet at that time.

Family is one of the biggest decision-making factors when it comes to your career. As a breadwinner, my family has been my strongest motivation in building my career.

Here are a few other pointers from my 40-year career.

Do not take the first job that comes along IF it is not what you really want to do. There will be others coming.

This is one of the best pieces of advice I got from my parents. If I did not follow them, my first job would have been a sales representative—something that wasn’t in line with my interest. If that was the path I followed, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Give it your best.

Some might say, “But, my job isn’t what I really want to do. It doesn’t make me happy. How can I give it my best?”

Before you decide to resign from a job or before you get fired for underperformance, try giving it your 100% first. Perform your work to the best of your abilities.

In the process, you may discover a true passion for your job. If not, you can move on with no regrets or doubts. You’ll know that you gave it your all.

Realize if your job is really for you (or NOT).

In my book, “Career Shift,” there’s a “happiness” quiz. The questions are designed to guide you in knowing if your job has a lot to do with your happiness or unhappiness.

Maybe your job isn’t for you if…

  • It makes you miserable.
  • It doesn’t help you develop your true potential.
  • You don’t recognize the kind of person you’ve become because of the work you do.
  • It has been changing you and your values and not in a good way.

You can’t build a long-term career on a job that isn’t for you.

What do you want to do? How do you actually do what you want to do?

If your current job isn’t related to your answers, perhaps it’s time for some further reflection.

What do I want to do? My passion is to help others bring out their best and inspire them to excel in life.

How do I actually do this? Over the years, I’ve followed a career path that stays true to this passion.

How about you? Is your career path in pursuit of what you want to do in life?

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