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#01 How to Figure Out What You Want From Your Career and Life
The 360 Leadhership Podcast, Episode 01, 09 January 2022 by Lucy Gernon
Podcast episode #001 How to Figure Out What You Want From Your Career and Life
Hello and welcome to episode #1 of the Powerhouse Revolution Podcast. You are probably here as you want to create your dream career and take back control of your one and only life. Maybe you want better balance and need to set boundaries and push back more or maybe you feel intimidated and want to be more confident at work. Or maybe you want to jump ship and do something different entirely. No matter how confused or unfulfilled you feel right now, there is a solution, I promise. And in today’s episode, I’m going to give you 3 ways you can begin to figure out what to do next.
But first, I want to tell you a quick story I know how head melting it can be to feel unfulfilled or to feel stuck in your career. Or worse, to just plod along hoping one day you’ll win the lotto so you can quit your job. I worked in the high-pressure corporate world for about 20 years. I know how rewarding it can be seeing your team develop and grow, delivering on a big project and that deep sense of relief and achievement when its all done.
I loved having financial independence and felt so proud of my accomplishments, but for me, something was always missing. I never felt good enough and I worked so hard to prove to “them” that I was someone – whatever that even means. Like who are “they?” And what does being “someone” even mean?! I have a MSc in Biotechnology and worked in Quality roles in research, pharma, and food and beverage for 20 years.
But, originally I wanted to do something with people. I thought maybe nursing or teaching but when I finished my Leaving Cert, I wanted to stay in my hometown and go to college and my friend was doing a science degree, so I thought why not do that! I kind of liked Biology but it wasn’t my true passion, but I didn’t know what was.
Can you relate?
It’s so hard when you are that age to decide on a 3rd level qualification that you will use for life. So I studied hard and got my BSc and was then awarded a fellowship to do a research Master which meant I got paid which was so cool. I spent 7 years studying science, so I thought, this is my career path… even though deep inside, I didn’t love it. Can you relate?
While I did enjoy my career, it took over a lot of my life. And it became especially difficult when I had kids. I have 3 children, at the time of recording this episode Jayden is 14, Sarah May is 9 and Kate is 5. Early in my career, I remember dropping Jayden at the creche before 7 am and commuting to work where I was in demand all day, then raced back to collect him before the creche closed at 6. Then it was dinner bath and bed and then back on the laptop to do that “one last thing”… that rarely ended up being one thing. I did this for many years, and it really affected my family dynamic.
But I had a job to do, and I was professional I didn’t think there was another way.
I knew I wanted to do something else, but I just thought I made my bed and now I had to lie in it. I was out with my friends one night about 5 years ago and I was telling one of my closest friends that I was unhappy in my career and didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t miserable by the way; I was just unfulfilled and tired of the pace.
I asked her “What else do you think I could do?.” She immediately said “Life Coach”. I was like, what’s a life coach?! She said it’s someone who helps people to learn about themselves and find happiness.
She said Lucy you’re such a good listener you are so good with people, and you could definitely do that. I felt a little tingle in my soul when she said that, but I thought it sounded a bit wishy washy. But I was also thinking how cool would it be to help women become who they were born to be, to have that success while not burning out or missing out on life? The seed was sown.
And then in 2020. COVID hit and my father-in-law died very suddenly from cancer. He was a fit and healthy 66-year-old man who worked hard and was never sick a day in his life and just like that, he was gone. It was at that point everything changed. Between losing my father-in-law and the pandemic, I had a whole new perspective and I decided, that’s it, it’s now or never.
So, 2 days after his funeral, I began a professional coaching course and started planning my exit. I made a 2 year plan and wrote in my journal “ I will have my own full-time coaching business by 2022”. I didn’t know how I was going to do this, but I knew that I wanted out of the corporate world.
I’m resourceful and knew I could make it happen somehow! I thought back to that conversation with my friend 5 years earlier who had suggested Life coaching, which is quite generic. I thought about what felt good for me and I decided I wanted to work with women in corporate leadership roles.
Because I’ve been there but….. I found a way to create the career and life I love and I can help you do that too.
I started my side-hustle coaching business in 2020, and in Dec 2021 (which is when I am recording this episode), I quit the corporate world just in time to hit my goal of having my own business by 2022! I can’t quite believe it but it feels right. and I want to be there for you. I have seen too many women burn themselves out unnecessarily due to people pleasing and putting everyone else first.
I have worked with many women through my signature program powerhouse revolution, who come to me feeling unhappy in their career but they leave feeing empowered, happy and in control.
Because I do a lot of mindset and inner work as part of the program, they uncover new insights that allow them to see things differently. For some, the mindset work, time management and boundary setting strategies I teach, are enough to help them to feel happy and fulfilled and the stay in their career. But for others, they uncover that they are just in the wrong career and we work together to make the necessary changes.
You can read more about working with me in my signature Program Powerhouse Revolution at www.lucygernon.com/workwithlucy
So that’s my story, now on to you.
3 Tips To Figure Out What You Want From Your Career and Life
1. You need to get crystal clear on what is important to you. Most people will say family is #1, yet family is usually the thing that suffers when work comes calling. Why is this? It’s all down to your core values. Your core values underpin every single decision you make. Understanding your core values and their priority is one of the first things I do with my VIP 1:1 clients in my Powerhouse Revolution Program. So often some top values include family, independence, leadership, professionalism.
So when you are faced with a decision to make like do I take that late call or read the kids a bedtime story, that’s where the push and pull comes from. You are battling between your family values and your value of professionalism. But you have got to choose. Understanding your values is key to understanding yourself and this takes time and work.
So, when you think about your life, what are the top 3 things that are important to you?
Write them down. And what will you do the next time your boss throws a spanner in the works when you’re supposed to finish early to collect the kids… think about that and decide what is most important.
2. The next thing you need to think about is, what do success and happiness mean to you? I’ve had clients who think they want a promotion for example, but when we dig deep into their mind and get clear on what’s important to them and what the promotion actually means, sometimes it transpires that even though the promotion, in theory, makes them feel successful, it might mean doing more work that they don’t actually enjoy.
It might mean more corporate politics and when we dig into it. They don’t actually want that.
It’s super important that you that about YOUR definition of success. Success for you may be taking that promotion as the job itself brings joy and fulfillment, but one thing I know for sure is the extra money that comes with a promotion can only make you so happy. If you are not happy and secure in yourself and who you are and what you bring to the world, there’s not a promotion or salary increase that will ever bring that.
So now, take your pen and paper and write out what does success and happiness look like for you? What will it bring you that you don’t already have? What are you currently sacrificing in your career and are you ok with that?
3. The final tip for today, and if you do it, it’s the most powerful one. Grab a childhood photo of yourself. Look into that little girls eyes and reconnect with her. She is still you. The person you are today is a combination of who you really are and who you have to be in order to survive in the world. Through your life experiences both good and bad, you have learned survival mechanisms. That may mean biting before you are bitten or staying quiet and not speaking up in a meeting with senior stakeholders because you are afraid, you’ll say something stupid.
These habits and behaviors are deeply rooted in the primitive part of your brain and were create to keep you safe. But before you built all of these survival mechanisms, you were just you. You are not your body, you merely live in your body. You are not your name, its something you have. And yes, this may be a bit spiritual for some but its the trust. You were just you before the world made you who you are today.
So, back to that little girl, take a look into her eyes, without judgement and reconnect. She is who you really are. She was born into this world for a reason. Its up to you to remember what that reason is. What did she want? What did she enjoy? What was she good at? These are all clues to your future happiness.
I just want you to know that you don’t have to stay stuck where you are. If you are feeling unhappy or unfulfilled in your career, you hold ALL the power to make changes. Sure, when you work with me I hold many tools to help you unlock that power, but I don’t give it to you, it’s already within you.
This Weeks Soul Work
1. Understand your core values. Think about what is important to you and write down your top 3 values. Know what is #1 and when you live your life by that, you’ll know as you’ll feel happy.
2. Define what success and happiness means to you. What does success look like? What will it mean for you when you get that? What does happiness mean? What makes you happiest? What changes do you need to make?
3. Take a childhood photo of yourself. Look at the photo without judgment and reconnect with that little girl. Remember, she’s still you. What is she telling you to do? What does she want? Listen carefully as she knows you best, she is you!
Ok, that’s it for today’s episode, see you next week, same time same place… and remember life is way too short to dread Mondays, now is your time to make changes.