I hear a lot from women trying to unlock opportunities in their careers – accountants, bookkeepers, journalists – who feel they are working so damn hard to get promoted and yet the opportunities are just not there. The promotions, the new products, the bookings, that big break …. and you are hearing radio silence.
Why? Let’s take a look at the truth about unlocking opportunities at work.
Whenever I hear these statements I always try to understand where they are really coming from and dig a little further rather than taking those statements at the surface level. We can then dig deeper and understand the truth about unlocking opportunities at work.
Me: “Did you reach out to your Human Resources Manager today to touch base and see if there are any new opportunities in your company?”
Uninterested employee: ”No.”
Me: “Did you put together a proposal about what training courses you would like to do? Have you researched 5 different courses that would help you progress your career?”
Uninterested employee: ”No, hang on. I did look at some courses the other day”.
Me: “Hey that’s great! Did you find out when they start and how much they will cost?”
Uninterested employee: ”…… ah, no.”
And the conversation goes on.
Don’t complain about things you’re not willing to change
Here’s what I’ve realized….
When you feel invisible, like no-one cares, and stressed about staying stuck with a capital ’S’, it can often feel like your hard work isn’t paying off.
But when you take an honest look at what you are actually doing and look at how you spend your time, not what you think you are doing; often the reality paints a different picture.
When we look at the facts, it turns out opportunities are coming our way, but we are turning a blind eye.
When you are stressing out it can make you feel like you are pouring your heart and soul into unlocking opportunities. Day in. Day out. When in fact, you are not really working that hard. You are just scared, frustrated, feeling invisible and thinking “why bother?”.
Here’s a foolproof way to determine if you are unlocking opportunities at work …. or turning a blind eye:
For one week, record factual notes about where you are spending your time and what you are doing. Then after one week review those notes. Only write down facts, not ‘should of’s’.
Do your notes look like a woman who has strong leadership skills, financial stability and feels empowered?
Or the notes of a frustrated, stressed out worker bee?
Would you be confident to share your “daily notes” with your colleagues?
….. or maybe not?
Remind yourself that feeling like you’re working hard—and actually being effective—are two very different things and when you’re panicked and stressed, it can be hard to tell the difference.
So take a big breath. Record the facts. Assess. Then set out with a new action plan starting with a more intentional, focused task list for your day.
Trust that if you put in the work – for real this time – and have a little patience…
The results that you crave will show up.
This self-assessment can be an eye-opener, and maybe one that might be hard to read. Seeing the truth in front of you could be just the motivation you need to unlock those opportunities at work that you seek.
Remind yourself that, feeling like there are no opportunities versus creating your own opportunities are two very different things and when you are working hard and stressed out, it’s hard to see the forest because of the trees.
So take a moment to exhale. Record the facts for a week. Trust that if you put in the real work this time, and have a little patience…
The opportunities you crave will present themselves.
There is an abundance of opportunities, you just need to be willing to spot them.
IMPORTANT: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments below.
Rather than let stress hold you back from the opportunities you desire, use this article to strengthen your focus and keep moving ahead.