There’s a plethora of advice available on how to get ahead in your career. Whether you work for a Fortune 500 company or own your own one-woman-show, you can find tips on every magazine rack about how to climb higher and earn more.
But have you ever stopped to think if you really want to move up in your career?
A few months ago, my husband was asked if he’d be interested in moving into management with a company for which he subcontracts. It could have meant more stability in an employee position. I have no idea if it would have meant more money; my husband didn’t ask before saying no. It’s not that he’s uninterested in making more money, but he’s not working in a job that he loves or a field that he’s passionate about. He’s moved up in the ranks in this industry before and realizes that he needs to start thinking about an exit strategy instead of a promotional one.
Last week I was offered an amazing business opportunity with a potential partner. The deal would have probably meant more clients and the ability to charge higher rates. But I’ve been asking myself lately if I want more clients and the additional work that comes with them, even if that means more money. I don’t know that I do.
I realize that I’m very fortunate to be in a position where I can even ask these questions. I remember all too clearly thinking that any money from anywhere would keep us one step farther from the uncomfortably close edge. I’m exceedingly grateful to no longer be there.
But I wonder if many of us aren’t there, and yet aren’t exactly sure where we are, either.
I wonder if we stop and do a gut check often enough, asking ourselves if we want to go farther down the path we’re currently on or higher up this particular ladder.
Or do we just keep advancing because that’s what we’re supposed to do?
As women, we’ve come along way for us to even be having this discussion. Many women are still fighting, knocking and chipping away at a glass ceiling that we’re told isn’t there. I get that. And if a woman wants a promotion, or a raise, or an increase in responsibility, I want her to be able to earn that. Absolutely.
I just want us to know what we want and why we want it. I want to make sure I’m questioning my own motives all the time, mindful of the societal pressures to continuously achieve. Before I go after the next big thing, I need to be certain that it’s a big thing worth having.
What about you? Do you ever find yourself on achievement autopilot?