Today I would like to talk about some aspects which are important to consider when we wish to create an aligned authentic career. It is necessary to write about it, because I see many people and especially women, trapped in a role or career that does not align with what they find important in their current phase of their lives.
Many of us start to take decisions in their career when we are in our twenties. We start to choose our studies, our master and first jobs, based on what we think is aligned with us. When clients work with me on designing their authentic career, one of the first questions I ask is: "What drove you to choose your study or first jobs?" And their answer is that they do not know especifically. It happened. It landed in their laps and they went on with it.
Personal experience in Creating an Aligned Career
Now that is just life. Who is aware in their early twenties, when we make important decisions about our future? Even if we are aware and choose with our hearts, what feels aligned with us in our twenties does not not always feel aligned with who we are in our thirties or forties.
I have been changing several times in my career from role and sector. I started studying Tourism when I was 18. Because while I was living in Mallorca, that was the best option and it was based on job security. I then moved to the Netherlands where I studied Spanish language and Literature because I missed that culture when I was living in the Netherlands. I was a Spanish teacher for many years. I loved that, but they job did not pay well enough and I did not know how to set up a small business then.
I decided to start a career in project management. I liked organizing and I worked as a project manager in translation agencies while I was a part-time Spanish teacher. I wanted to to make a career out of it and got hired in a big international consultancy firm. I became a project manager consultant which I enjoyed, until I came back from my pregnancy leave. Everything changed from that moment. It took me a while to realize what it was that caused it.
I see that when kids come in to our lives our priorities and values change. Many clients who work with me are in a similar phase where their current career just does not work. Before becoming mothers they are devoted loyal employees, work hard and put their career on the first spot. But then when we have children, we need our work to be more aligned with our family needs. We do not find our work that important anymore. We do not want to give 150% anymore because we have children at home who ask for our attention and we want to give that to them.
Embodying what you find important in your work
Now some might think yeah right! The work environment does not take into account my new situation. They do not understand that I have other responsibilities and I still will have to be available the whole time. Well for some work environments it is completely true that there is no understanding or flexibility. But another element which makes it challenging is that w we do not embody what we find important and do not negotiate our new conditions.
A client who embodied her values
Let me give an example of a client who was able to make that change. She was in the process of getting hired for a young international company. Finally she got hired, but after thinking through having a toddler and another coming, she decided to not do it. She was very specific in why she did not wanted to have that position in her communication. She mentioned that her family was very important and that she needed the flexibility and the boundaries to be able to spend time with her young family. What happened?...
They still wanted her. They have adjusted her working situation so that she can do the work combining her family life. And this is what we women need to do in general. Embody our values and conditions an put that on the table and not accept conditions which are not aligned with us.
It all starts with taking your needs serious
For me, when I look back now, I would have dealt with the situation differently. I acted from fear instead of trust. I took a role in a project that was too demanding as I felt that I had nobody to back my re-integration after maternity leave. I tried to perform like I was the Eva before being a mother. Now that costed me my wellbeing because I was not the same Eva. I was in another situation with a small baby and my body and needs changed. I had to learn the hard way, not admitting that I needed a role in a completely different setting and circumstances. Therefore I went through a self-discovery process to learn to take my needs serious and to talk about them and claim it.
I needed a calm project where I could have the time to reintegrate slowly. At that time I was too afraid to ask for it because I thought I would be weak, or not hard working enough. My conviction was that I was only good enough when I worked hard. I was the one who created that situation of unbalance. Because I did not embody my needs and I could not talk about them.
We cannot talk about needs and boundaries when we do not feel them. So it is crucial to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself what your needs are. You need to feel them. So a key ingredient in creating your aligned career is to identify what you need and embody that. Then you can talk about it with your manager and co-workers and create a new reality.
Now 8 years later, I am embodying much more my needs. I am always learning but now I know the steps to take when I feel imbalance in my work. That experience has taught me to do it differently and now I guide my clients in taking the right decisions in creating their aligned career. When you feel imbalance in your work or misalignment, contact me when you feel you would like to learn those steps to create your aligned career for ease, flow and purpose.
How do you deal with unbalance in your work? Leave your comment below. Would love to hear from you,
to your soul being,