I am now just over 18 months out of my previous senior corporate role, and now fully immersed in my own business.
To say it is a whole new ball game, would be an understatement. I have learnt an insane amount about myself in these last 18 months. More than I ever thought possible.
However, what it has also allowed me to do is look back on and reflect on my career journey when I was inside business.
Sometimes it takes really stepping away, and creating some space (both literally and figuratively) for you to see the real learnings.
I am not one for regrets, however there are definitely some lessons that I look back upon now and wish I had of known earlier in my career. I would have saved myself a lot of sleepless nights, stress, and I could have gotten out of my own way a hell of a lot sooner.
Being driven to succeed is an admirable quality. One of which many of us possess, myself included.
However, when you are so driven to succeed, and wired to need to feel that you are constantly achieving, you naturally put more pressure on yourself to do so. To always be doing. You can feel like nothing is good enough, and the 80/20 rule goes out the window.
I recall stepping into my first senior role within an Organisation right at a time when it was going through an incredible amount of change. I felt so out of my depth and like such an imposter, that I went to work most days waiting for that tap on the shoulder saying “thanks Claire, but no thanks”. I went home and lay awake most nights criticising myself for the things I said (or didn’t say) that day, thinking that surely people would be judging. Laughing. Questioning my credibility.
To compensate for these feelings, I just worked, more and more and more. I stopped making time for myself, my needs, and most certainly stopped believing in myself and my own abilities. I got to the stage where I honestly thought I couldn’t do it and started questioning other parts of my life. For a person who generally takes a pretty ‘glass half full’ approach to life, it was a really lonely and sad place to be. In my own head. Drowning in my own thoughts.
I didn’t ask for help. I didn’t look up. I didn’t look around. I just let all the noise start to cave in on me, and then I worked harder to avoid it.
I had taken a really short term view of my career. Probably because at the time I felt so consumed by my feelings that I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. But, I look back now, and am reminded of just how important it is to take a long term view of our careers. To nurture and nourish them, just as we do our minds and bodies – why – because we want them to last.
If I could go back and talk to myself with what I know now about what the true ingredients of a LONG TERM successful career really are, these are the things I would remind myself…
A lot of the work I do now with my Sell yourself with Confidence program participants is work through the above, and then put a solid and tangible action plan against each point.
Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.
She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.