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What are you waiting for?

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Every day I speak to women who are waiting.

They are waiting to feel smart enough, good enough, old enough or for someone to notice their talent or how hard they are working.  

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.

Career progress is only achieved when we stop waiting and become proactive in our development.

If you are waiting to step up to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition… it’s time to stop waiting.  

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

  1.  Waiting to feel worthy or good enough.   If this is you – it’s likely you see yourself with less potential or skill than others do!  Imposter Syndrome is often part of the story where you allow your inner critic to influence your confidence and self-belief. 

One talented leader I worked with was waiting to “feel” like a leader before speaking up in a leadership team meeting.  Another was waiting to feel more confident before agreeing to present her ideas to the board – even though she was passionate and expert in her field. 

  1.  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 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.  

  1.  Waiting to be ready.  Ready for what?  Who knows?  But still you 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.  

And sometimes it’s got nothing at all to do with professional capabilities.  One woman told me she was waiting to lose weight and buy a new corporate wardrobe before she started looking for a new job.

  1.  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!  But it’s highly likely you don’t.  

If you don’t believe me… seek advice from someone who knows you well and understands the requirements of the types of opportunities you want to be considered for.  My guess is that the quickest and most effective way to get the knowledge and experience you think you need, is by saying YES and taking the next step.   

  1.  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 the value you can offer and being the best fit for the role not because of your years of tenure within the organisation.
  2.  Waiting until you are tapped on the shoulder. This strategy may have worked well for you in your early career – but at this level of leadership, hard work and results isn’t enough to get you noticed.  I know it should be but it’s not! 

Progressing your career is up to you.  It is about raising your profile, 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.

  1.  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, COVID!  These are all good reasons to take a step back but are you using your circumstances as an elegant excuse?

Stop waiting and take action!

If you recognise yourself in any of these, perhaps it is time to take your foot off the brake, lift your finger off the pause button and get into action.  

You are already good enough and experienced 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 professional fulfilment and growth is up to you.  Go out and grab it with both hands… NOW!

And know … you are already enough!

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