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Are You Waiting For Career Success?

Have you ever found yourself waiting for career success? 

Waiting to feel smart enough, good enough, old enough or for someone to notice how great you are at your job?  Every day I speak to women who are waiting.

It shouldn’t surprise me… because I remember a time when I was waiting to feel ready for the next step in my career.  I had no idea why I was waiting or what being ready would look like or feel like… but I was waiting.

One women I worked with was waiting to “feel” like a leader before speaking up in a leadership team meeting.  Another told me she was waiting to lose weight and buy a new corporate wardrobe before she started looking for a new job.

Then there is the woman in a professional services firm who admitted to me that she had been waiting for years to be tapped on the shoulder and be offered a promotion… which never came. Not because she was not good enough but because she had never expressed her interest in a more senior role.

Career success is only achieved when we stop waiting and become proactive in our development and seize every opportunity that comes our way.

If you are waiting to take the next step in your career… is it time to stop waiting?

Are you really waiting because of a legitimate reason or is your waiting just an elegant excuse, holding you back from career progression?

Here are the 7 top reasons I hear from women about why they are waiting.

They are:

1.  Waiting to feel worthy or good enough.  This one is more common than you may think, so if this is why you are waiting… you are in good company.  Many women wait to take the next step because they don’t feel worthy or good enough.  They see themselves with less potential or skill than others do.  They allow their inner critic to influence their confidence and self-belief. They fail to go after what they want in their career and what they are truly capable of.

2.  Waiting to be old enough.  Do you have a belief that you need to be of a certain age to be considered for a particular level of leadership or to be taken seriously? I have worked with a couple of high achieving young women who have rocketed into positions of influence at a young age but then feel they have to wait for their age to catch up, to take the next step.  Just because you are younger then most of the team reporting to you, doesn’t mean you do not have the skills and capabilities to lead them effectively.

3.  Waiting to be ready.  Ready for what?  Who knows?  But still we wait! Perhaps this is linked to feeling good enough or worthy enough.  It is certainly linked to the fear of failure and the need to protect yourself from risk.  Leadership takes courage and very often means stepping outside your comfort zone to find out what you are truly capable of.

4.  Waiting to be knowledgeable enough.  Do you think you need more knowledge, skill or training to be able to take the next step?  Perhaps you do … or maybe you will get everything you need from on the job challenges that come with taking the next step in your career.   Rather than rely on your own judgment on this, seek advice from someone who knows you well and understands the requirements of the type of role you are looking to step into.

5.  Waiting until it is your turn.  Getting promoted because you have done your time went out of vogue years ago!  Career progression is now all about taking opportunities and going after what you want.  You will be given opportunities based on your skill level and being the best fit for the role not because of your years of tenure within the organisation.

6.  Waiting until you are tapped on the shoulder.  So you think if you do good work that it will be noticed and you will be handed that next promotion or amazing opportunity.  Sorry to burst your bubble on this one… but no.  Being good at your job is just the beginning.  To get what you really want from your career, you have to raise your hand and let it be known that you are interested in promotion.  It is about creating opportunities and taking steps to make it clear that you are the obvious choice for promotion or consideration for inclusion on an exciting project.

7.  Waiting until your circumstances change.  Most of us have a lot going on outside of work which at times can impact what we are capable of or prepared to take on at work. Kids, holidays, moving home, weddings, illness… these are all good reasons to take a step back but are you using your circumstances as an elegant excuse?

If you recognise yourself in any of these, perhaps it is time to take your foot off the break, lift your finger off the pause button and get into action, creating your next step in your career.  If you have put yourself in a holding pattern… waiting for your career success, make sure you have made a conscious decision for a legitimate reason.   

If not… here’s my advice……

Stop waiting for career success and take action!

You are already good enough and old enough and you already know enough. If you are waiting for someone to notice your brilliance and hand you your perfect job, you could be waiting a very long time!

Your career success is up to you.  Go out and grab it with both hands… NOW!

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