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Should I take the next step? Look up first.

2016 has been a huge year of change for me. I left my job as an employee and started 2 businesses (Rhapsodate

Consulting and Picnic & Co) and a networking group (The G8 Ladies). I resigned as Chair from 1 Board and 1 Committee, retained 1 Non Exec Director position and applied for another. I have authored a chapter in a book (launching soon & called The Gumption Trigger). As a family we finally made that long overdue trip back to Ireland, Wales and Spain to see family and friends. I’ve met more, attended more and I hope I have helped more people in the past year than ever, and it’s been fantastic. Yes there have been days which terrified me and challenged me but the rewards far outweighed the scary bits. Opportunities come when you’re out there and show availability and openness to new challenges and I am so excited and ready for the new opportunities ahead of me.

After a few years of communicating on LinkedIn and talking about meeting up, yesterday I finally caught up with the fabulous Amanda Blesing and she asked me what advice I would give women wondering whether they should take that next step in their career and I had to stop for a while to be very careful of my answer, after all, this was general advice and needed to apply to any women reading it.

Applying the principles I use in project framing, I wanted to understand what the environment was in which the person was right now? Unless we truly understand what is going on in someone’s lives, families, organisations it’s dangerous to advise the next steps to take.

Where do they see themselves in 1, 3, 5 years? Ask this question of yourself and anyone who asks you for advice or any stakeholders you are working with regarding the framing of an activity or the design of the roadmap to deliver Strategy, what is the target state of your organisation? what does the desired future look like?

What is you ‘why?’ what drives you? your family? Your organisation? This tells us what success means for us and what the benefits of going to this new target state will be.

Reflecting on the points above and how I look at things, I personalise decisions. Is it a huge decision that cannot be reversed? Is it just a bit scary but in reality, gets the adrenalin going? Take that ‘career’ decision and compare it to a personal decision? What could go wrong? Essentially there are only 3 decisions:

  • The right one,

  • the one to make it right and

  • no decision.

Is that decision still scary?

So my response to Amanda was to ‘Look up’. We spend our days hunched over at a desk, in the details, focused on others, getting on and being everything to everyone. When making a decision put your shoulders back, lift your chin, breath and look up. Think about the big picture, about 5 years from now and not about what’s in front of your nose, once you have un clouded your thoughts. Go ahead and decide if you’re going to take that next step.

Let me know how you get on, as my late Granny always said “You’re only here for a short time so make it a good time”, she was born 4 years before the Titanic sailed, lived through 2 world wars and all the troubles in Northern Ireland. She had 7 children and her husband died when her youngest was under 10. I think she’s qualified to stand by her statement and I do too.

Have a wonderful day and an even better year.

About the author:

Gail Creighton-Davies

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