Jackie Kellso

Posts Tagged ‘professional women’

Are You Striving to Get Yourself Back on Top?

In career, career challenges, career path, career transition, Dr. Robin Smith, get back on top, job titles, life changes, looking backwards, Oprah Winfrey, personal power, professional development, salaries, second career, striving forward, Super Soul Sunday on August 10, 2015 at 9:55 pm

Yesterday, I caught an interview with Dr. Robin Smith on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, and was absolutely struck by a part of the conversation that referred to the demise of Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson.  Dr. Smith spoke about how they died as a result of being completely obsessed with getting back to the top of their games.  For Whitney Houston it was, ‘hitting that note’ again, and with Michael Jackson it was creating something bigger than “Thriller.”

How many of us professionals, those in career transition, and those who lost titles and high salaries to the economic downturn, are in a spin to GET BACK TO THE TOP?

The obsession to re-experience a high from the past, compounded with a lack of acceptance that life has changed, that those were exceptional moments of their own time and circumstance, drive us to self-destruct.

This idea resonates greatly with me as I’m now 10 years into my second career (from advertising sales to professional development) and have a constant nagger (my ego) worrying about how I will be able to get back to the top of my earnings again.  My top was at the height of the Internet boom, where I was so perfectly situated, in the late 90s and early 2000s.  Of course, I was already nearing 20 years into my sales career when this hit and I’m only 10 years into this career (that in general isn’t known to be the money-maker that sales is) BUT, the point is that the way I’ve been evaluating my success, which is to GET BACK TO THE TOP, is my real problem.

The thinking itself is a set-up for feeling like a failure!  I was on a different path, I had different personal goals, I was a different person and life presented me with different options. Plus, I would never, ever want to go back into that career  and walk away from the very thing that has fueled me with purpose, joy and feelings of fulfillment.

And, even though I have a rich life with a loving husband, good health, great friends and family, and kick-ass skills to do my work at high levels, I recognize that the obsession to have what I had is a self-destructive thought.  Embracing the path I’m on now is the key to moving forward.

I believe in my ability to bring in that bounty and to prosper as I look toward the future.  The difference is I’m not going to continue striving backward, I’m now striving forward.  The freedom from comparison of a past situation is the clarity I needed in order to feel optimistic.

So, dear colleagues: STOP IT.  Stop working to get back on top. Stop comparing your life now to back then. Instead, look for the direction your life is taking and say yes to what feels right, right NOW, because it will lead to the best opportunities that can present themselves to you.  It will lead you to a new future.  And that future may be more dear to you than title and money, and/or that future may include a better title and even more money! Who knows?

Forge ahead!

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Professional Women, Please Stop Trying to Fit In!

In business relationships, career, career challenges, career-related problems, communicating, communication, conflict resolution, coping with pressure at work, corporate life, dealing with a difficult coworker, dealing with a male boss, Detach and Breathe, empowerment, enlightenment, executive coaching, female discrimination, Gurus, handling tough boss, human relations, interpersonal skills, jobs, leadership, leaning in, life skills, manage stress at work, managing conflict, office politics, personal development, personal growth, professional behavior, professional development, professional women, self-esteem, self-help, self-image, spiritual awakening, spiritual growth, transformation, Uncategorized, women, women in the workplace, work culture, work-related problems on January 20, 2014 at 8:30 pm

I am decidedly a professional woman.  In my 30+ year career, of which there are actually two paths taken (one in media sales, one in professional development), I have felt discriminated against because I am a woman.  I have been sexualized, objectified, diminished, loathed.  I have been given opportunities, I’m sure, because someone thought I was pretty. Both men and women have said and done things to me that where abhorrent.  “Go make curtains,”  one male boss had said to me, in front of male peers, tossing me out of a meeting.  “What’s your favorite position?” a manager asked me after I had inquired about applying for a management position.  Oh, I’ve been there.

And you likely have experienced all that too. But this message isn’t about how to get along as a woman, or about leaning in or out, or about being assertive, or vulnerable, or how to navigate corporate male hierarchies. I’m not here to review the research that proves how ambitious women are seen as bitches while male counterparts are admired for their leadership qualities.

No, I’m writing to say to all of us women: please stop obsessing about being a certain way in order to move up the corporate ladder.

Here’s why:  despite working to create the right perception (by behaving in a way that will yield the best results), small-minded associates who are in emotional pain, regardless of their gender, will see us through their own damaged lenses.  They will have their biases. Their dysfunctional views of the world will be there ANYWAY.  Unless people are aware of the feelings of others, and care about developing themselves at higher levels, they will box you in like miniature chocolates molded into their casings.

Yes, it might mean you are seen as the power-hungry-bitch with 38DDs.  It might mean your high-intelligence is so threatening that you are passed over for a promotion to someone whom your manager feels he can control.  Disappointing, yet with a great blessing:  You have been hired by your Guru so that you can work on YOU.

Business settings are like Gurus or teachers. Work presents us with the most difficult, challenging and sometimes downright painful interactions that feel AWFUL.  These occurrences actually give us the opportunity to become enlightened; to make choices, to build skills, to detach from any personal need to have the boss (or colleague) fulfill a longing and need in us to be accepted, approved of, etc… They are playing an unexpected role — to push those old buttons so we can evolve.  My advice: use these nasty lessons to learn how to step-up into YOU, and don’t worry about who they are.

When I came up with my mantra, DETACH AND BREATHE, it was to deal with a boss who had been actively trying to sabotage me so he could replace me with a guy he liked for my job.  I had been reacting by shutting him out of my work and trying to take control of things without consulting him. The minute I allowed him to manage me, forgot about trying to be right, and went with the fact that our hierarchy gave him authority, HE RELAXED around me, and the threat actually went away.  By the time I quit, it was purely on my terms.  He was my Guru, helping me understand what it means to let go, to stop needing to control, to accept what is.

The freer you are — the more objective and the more accepting of others’ limitations — the better you will feel about yourself and your work.  So, you may be overlooked for a promotion or even get fired.  Sadly, you may have to deal with a sexual harassment lawsuit. Don’t allow regret to eclipse the power of the lesson. The right opportunities lie ahead. You can live out your purpose, carve out your path.  This will happen as a result of your enlightenment and enrichment from these horrific experiences.  Plus, there are always good people around who want to help.  It’s focusing energy on what’s possible, not on conforming to a culture that cannot bring your dreams to fruition.

Professionally and respectfully yours,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.