“I’m ready to just quit and stay home and try to create a family”
This quote from a woman who works in a large Pharmaceutical Company, made me so sad to hear! After numerous years spent earning higher degrees, blazing her path as a woman in science, she was too tired and beat to raise the ceiling higher. It is a message I have heard repeatedly in the last few weeks as I am interviewing women in management.
It is understandable that you are tired. You have worked sometimes sixty or more hours in a week, for years, to achieve your dream of success. You have put family, personal enrichment and self-care on the back burner in hopes to shift the corporate world. It may be a surprise your partner even recognizes you! To your dismay you still don’t feel like an “equal”. The other managers in your position, seldom women, seem to not hear you or not understand your language.
I have four tips to help you re-balance, allowing you to more consciously decide to stay in your career and keep pushing; or move on, and define what is next.
Slow down. I know it seems like you have to keep working crazy hours every week but do you? Does your manager work those hours? If they do and there is no reprieve find small things to toss into your day. What are the things that jazz you, excite you? Take 5 minutes to think of some and then get creative and find ways to slip them into your day! Every day! Even a one breath meditation can change your view of a situation.
Fill your tank. If you drove your car around without ever stopping for gas you might end up stuck on the side of the road. You need to fuel yourself mentally so you don’t run out of “gas”. This kind of empty tank makes every aspect of your life dull and arduous. Take a ten-minute walk at lunchtime (before you work through lunch). Make a screen saver of photos of things that make you feel happy. Read (or listen to) a book about something that has nothing to do with work. Yes, I know it may take a year to finish but even a page a day is something. Find a way to shift your day by adding some small things that fill your tank. You will find that even small things will make your time more productive. My hope is you will continue this practice, increasing its time allotment.
Use your voice. Practice your communication. It is possible that your peers are speaking a different language. Polishing your public speaking skills, and clarifying your message can enhance the results. A more confident voice can speak in terms of the facts, leaving out the extra emotions that sometimes cloud the message. Think about the result you are hoping to achieve and what the others “win” is. If you can speak in terms that they understand and show them their gain, with confidence, you may have better luck. Try Speaker Sisterhood, or Toastmasters. Do something to hone your public speaking skills.
Connect. In every profession there are people who have been in your shoes, even if they are a different sex. Find someone who you respect and ask them if they would mentor you. Choose someone who is positive and can give you the feedback you are looking for. Be specific as to what you are looking for in your mentorship. Be respectful of their time. Be thankful!
This is the tip of the iceberg! I am working to find ways that women can desire to stay and move further up the ladder, instead of giving up, and shifting out. I know it will take me some time, but I am committed to developing means of helping women be fulfilled and successful in whatever role they choose!
If you are a woman in a management role, I would love the gift of 30 minutes of your time to further my research. Please email me Brenda@innerOvation.com.