I am very pleased to share this week’s guest blog post. Darcy Eikenberg, PCC, a long time friend and colleague has built on her strong background as a corporate executive and coach to help people figure out how they can make that next career decision. I love that she recognizes the value of tapping into our introverted side to do that. Read more below and consider checking out her training video series here.
It was a moment I’ll never forget. I had just landed in Chicago one winter’s night for a business meeting the next morning. My boss was trying to reach me, and since this was before we had smartphones and Bluetooth to easily talk and drive, I pulled over into a McDonald’s parking lot to take her call. Then, she blindsided me.
She told me she was retiring early. I hadn’t expected that at all. She was an amazing mentor and champion and still had many years of valuable career runway left. While in hindsight I should have seen warning signs that she wasn’t happy, I was totally gobsmacked.
And then, the other shoe dropped. She told me that she’d already chosen someone as her replacement. And it wasn’t me. Right then, in the bad fluorescent light of the McDonald’s parking lot, I realized something. I felt . . . relieved. Because I realized I didn’t want my boss’ job. And in the same moment, I heard a little voice inside my head ask: “SO, if you don’t want the next obvious job up the ladder, what DO you want?” And I had no answer. All I wanted right then were fries.
The Path to Making Better Career Decisions
That’s when I started on the path to decide what was next for me, which led me to research, test, and now, teach better ways to make big career decisions. And if I’ve learned one thing in the decade since that night in a cold McDonald’s parking lot, it’s that it would have been a lot easier if I’d let my introverted side take the lead.
I’ve since realized that focusing your introverted energy—the energy to look inside yourself instead of outside—is critical to making a successful career decision.
I call this process “listening to the whispers.” But it’s a stage too many extroverts like me skip over. They often jump immediately from any career discomfort to action. Updating resumes. Surfing LinkedIn. Going to networking groups where they deal out business cards like blackjack. And they wonder why they stay stuck.
But for you introverts (and those of us who need to embrace our inner introvert), those whispers become a human GPS, helping create more clarity about what you want next in your life at work.
As an extrovert, I learned the hard way. If I’d embraced my inner introvert then, I would have had more confidence and clarity in my decision-making, and not wandered down the right path not merely the “logical” one. So when it’s time to make your next career decision, it’s a good idea to channel your inner introvert. Even if you’re an extrovert like me. I know you will be glad you did.
Red Cape Revolution founder Darcy Eikenberg, PCC, is an executive & leadership coach, speaker and author of “Bring Your Superpowers to Work: Your Guide to More Clarity, Confidence & Control.” Join her video training series, How to Make Your Best Career Decision for free when you sign up here: http://tinyurl.com/DarcyTraining2017