The women I work with are high achievers.
They’re driven, ambitious, goal-setting Type A’s. They know what they want for their careers and they strive every day to make what they want a reality. They earned a great education, took every women’s leadership development and coaching opportunity presented to them, had an insane work ethic, led complex initiatives, and worked their way up to the iconic rung on the ladder of success.
On paper, they seem to have it all.
Yet, once they reach the top, many of them find themselves asking, “Now what?”
If your story matches the stories I just described, then I bet you also get the unsettled feeling that there is something more.
Of course, you love what you do; but there are quiet moments after you kick off your shoes and reflect on your day, that you feel a tug for something that’s missing.
What do you do after you finally reach your goals and find yourself in the middle of a “What’s-Next-For-Me” Moment?
This is the perfect time to look at areas of your life that you may have put on the back burner so that you could climb the career ladder and become an executive leader. Doing this, before you make any career-changing decisions, will save you a lot of time and energy… and frustration in the years to come.
5 things you can do right now to figure out what’s next on your high achiever’s to-do list:
Make An Impact
Become more involved in your organization’s corporate social responsibility activities – likely something you never considered making time for in your busy schedule.
When you do this, you get the opportunity to represent your organization while doing something bigger – serving your community with your talents and your heart. There are many not-for-profits that could use your expertise in creating strategic plans and innovative solutions for their most pressing problems.
When you express your interest and curiosity in new areas, you become a more innovative, compassionate, and strategic leader.
“If you are in a position to help, there is no greater way to display gratitude
for the position that you’re in than to help someone else.”
– Kat Cole, President, Focus Brands
Explore Outside Passions
Remember that “thing” you’ve always wanted to do, but never got around to? Go do it!
Go take that art class. Learn to play the violin. Take a singing class. Make time to do the things that have been gnawing at you. Listen to the little whispers.
Mentor someone from inside or outside your organization.
Offering guidance and support that will bring up the next generation of women leaders will fulfill you in ways that you can’t even imagine. Helping them to see what’s possible, and believing in them, is often enough.
If your organization doesn’t have a mentorship program, start one! You can learn how to do this in The 5 Step Guide to Starting a Mentorship Program in Your Organization.
Carve out Time for a Self-Care Regimen
Most women leaders sacrifice a lot to get to the top. Now that you’re there, schedule non-negotiable self-care time on your calendar.
Of course, you don’t have time. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you there’s not enough time in the day for this. But that’s a bunch of B.S. Self-care can take as little as 10 minutes…
It can be a pause at the beginning and end of your day to clear your mind of all of the noise. Don’t even call it meditation if you don’t want to. This one small practice will make your day more productive. Try starting the day with 10 minutes of meditation or setting intentions, and end your day with 10 minutes of gratitude.
Collect Milestone Memories
As women, we often forget to celebrate all that we’ve accomplished. Most of the time, we check our accomplishments off the to-do list and move on to the next thing.
What if you could reconnect to the thrill of achieving your big goals? One way of doing this is to create a Milestone Memory scrapbook of all you did to get to the top. Include your pinnacle achievements, mentors, supportive colleagues, the impact you’ve made, and the people who you’ve touched along the way. (And what a great thing to hand off to your children for some powerful inspiration!)
What do you do when you’re in a “what’s next for me,” moment – are you stuck second-guessing yourself, or is there something you can add to the above list? Write it in the comments below…