The Big Promotion
Perspective on Major Career Advancements
Genuine Desire to Contribute
Trust that when you expend your efforts out of a genuine desire to help and contribute to a worthy goal, even if done without the expectation or demand for reward, the Universe will find a way to acknowledge your efforts. This will not always take the form of material reward. Sometimes it will be in the form of new experiences or new responsibilities.
Embrace the Menial and Trivial - To A Point
All opportunities that are presented to you, no matter how menial or trivial they may seem to others, provide a place to learn, grow and share your talents and light with the world. There is no duty so modest that it can't be done with an industrious spirit and positive attitude. Many successful women recall learning extremely valuable skills doing "humble" work. For me personally, I've worked dishwasher, waitress, assistant and sketch artist. All of these roles prepared me for the more senior positions I've achieved, especially those that require that I manage or lead other people. Moreover, it instilled a sense of empathy where entitlement could have easily crept in. One note of caution: If you feel trapped in menial and trivial tasks, this may speak to how you view yourself and what you deserve. More specifically, it can speak to a willingness to settle for less because you fear asking for more, from yourself or your life. I never minded these mundane tasks because I always viewed them as temporary stepping stones to better things - and they always were.
Life Can Be Really Good
...But it pays to remind yourself that it may not stay that way forever. The only constant in life is change. A couple of years after I accepted the promotion? We were the top performing stock in our class on our applicable exchange and dropping $10,000 on tickets to events to woo customers. Flash forward and I ended up leaving the company under distressing circumstances - just before it entered sale and bankruptcy.
Many of these changes within our company had little to do with me or my performance. This is why it can be very dangerous to let yourself identify strongly with any definition of success that rests with the outside world or circumstances beyond your reasonable control. I took such pride in my work, I suffered from a profound feeling of loss when everything came crashing down. Since then, I've taken greater care to ensure that my professional identity occupies a smaller component of who I am.
Bank That Bonus
Whether you own your own business or work for someone else, a significant promotion is a wonderful (and often relatively rare) opportunity to make true financial headway toward your dearest dreams, whether owning a home or retiring to a leaky houseboat before you buy your first anti-wrinkle cream. The decisions I made about investing and saving the additional income available to me ended up saving my ass during more challenging times up ahead (i.e. when I cut down my hours to spend time with our children). Your future self might admire your fancy new purse, but she will LOVE a sense of security and freedom even more.
Embrace The Emotions Behind Success
All careers include both successes and failures. When you experience a major success, truly take time to dwell in and on the emotions, thoughts and actions that brought it into your life. Be aware of any feelings of not being worthy or feeling like a "fraud." Ask yourself where these feelings come from. Try to let them go, along with any other thoughts that may lead to you to self-sabotage. Allow yourself to spend time envisioning yourself as a successful person, in whatever form that takes for you. Make sure that this success feels good not because you are "winning" or getting singled out for praise, but because you are moving closer to meaningful goals and dreams. Truly embrace the feeling of success, because there will likely come a time when you will struggle again, and you will want to be able to pull this feeling out of your back pocket.
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I've included stories, anecdotes and useful tips I've gained over my career as an Entrepreneur, Board Member, Executive and Senior Counsel. I hope you can find ways to navigate to your own dreams by learning from my experience! Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or want to share your own stories. Stay inspired!