The most popular topic I’m approached with in my coaching practice right now is women over 40 feeling marginalized at work. I may be a corporate refugee, but I got it. I get it. And I have a bold message for all of us. Buckle up!
What the hell happened? You wore power suits at work and capes at home. You basically demanded, defined, and pioneered work life balance for generations to come. You climbed the ladder in heels. Didn’t you earn the right to job security and a guaranteed retirement party in the future from the company you gave your all to? You were rock stars!
Were?!? Who put baby in a corner?
It was those pesky trophy winning millennials right? The ones sitting next to you in the conference room, annoying you with all their bright ideas when you once burped a kid their age? The ones that sneaky snake passed you by for the promotion and now demand you be quiet and execute with no input, no discussion and no questioning? Or how about the ones with all those fancy MBA technical skills that can do what you used to do in half the time? The ones that give you no respect?
Maybe, there are certainly some fascinating generational issues in the workplace right now. But then again, there always have been. Lighten up on the young and the bold, we were there once too. It’s just one more wave in the ocean of change.
So, are you going to surf that wave or drown in it? Are you going to take your hurt and disrespected self and go sit in the corner?
NO. You’re NOT.
You are made of better, more formidable stuff than that. It’s time to flip the switch and dust off that cape. You have a lot of career left, and it’s about the time that YOU become the CEO of it. Repeat after me:
1. The art of knowing is not knowing. I am going to take a brutally honest look at my toolkit, figure out what’s missing, and get back on top of my game. I am going to read at least two Marshall Goldsmith books and wrap my head around the evils of complacency in my career.
2. I will seek to understand that the workplace has evolved, along with how people are managing their teams (or not). I will learn how to use my force field against frustration over “the way things should be” and learn to navigate the way things are.
3. I’m going to reconnect to the successful woman I was before this all started impacting my identity, POWER UP, and start approaching my job like I just signed the offer letter.
4. I’m going to schedule a meeting with myself and figure out if I’m staying here way longer than I should out of the “dinosaur fear” of not getting another job. I’m going to ask myself what I would do if I knew I couldn’t fail.
5. I commit to throwing my inner mean girl in the corner, even if it feels like a Hail Mary pass at the Superbowl…because failure is not an option.
Now ladies – GO GET YOUR MOJO BACK!