Finding Career Success in the New Year

Valerie is currently the CEO and owner of Valerie Martinelli Consulting, LLC. in which she offers Life, Leadership, and Career coaching for women as well as various Management and Human Resource consulting services such as program development, management, and evaluation, human resource audits, and employee handbook and other policy developments.

Some of the wisest words that I ever heard was “If not now, when?”  As we begin this New Year it should serve as a reminder that life does not provide us with perfect timing.  It also does not provide us the ability to be passive when it comes to creating a successful career.

Many job seekers and professionals ask me what it takes to become a successful and fulfilled professional and believe that this is something that they can find on Google. It is not. This is not something concrete that is dependent on your resume, your personal branding, or your even interviewing skills. It is dependent on YOU. There are some traits that my most successful clients do have in common- coachability, resourcefulness, having a growth mindset, and having grit.

While most probably started out like you- feeling nervous, scared to take a step forward or make a financial investment, and fearful of being accountable for their actions to yield results- it does not mean that staying stuck is the right choice.

In fact, it is the wrong one and I am going to discuss why.

Outside Your Comfort Zone

Searching for a new role and career growth takes you outside your comfort zone naturally. Working with a professional can add some anxiety to that. However, if you do not challenge yourself nothing will change. Working outside your comfort zone has benefits, including:

  • You will learn more about yourself, such as finding a true passion.
  • You will test your limits and set aside any limitations.
  • You will face your fears.
  • You will end a possible bout with perfection.
  • You will learn to let go.
  • You will learn to visualize and find success.

You need to break free from the limitations that are holding you back in your life and your career. Unfortunately, many make the mistake of just chasing a paycheck to keep food on the table and a roof over their head. As necessary as this is, it should not be the goal for your life and your career. Many persist in roles and careers that make them truly unhappy, dealing with treatment from managers and bosses that make them feel “less than” and afraid to speak up. I have worked with women who have had male bosses who have called them emotional and told them they were not qualified for promotions, only to have them succeed in a higher-level role outside of that toxic environment. It can be scary to make that leap but your well-being and future are well worth it.

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You need to break free from the limitations that are holding you back in your life and your career.


Our Career Is Not Siloed

Half of the workers in the U.S. are unhappy in their careers and are underpaid. Many have also expressed a lack of opportunities for advancement and growth, respect in the workplace, and stability and job security.

Why do we tolerate this?

Many have the tendency to forget that a career is not isolated to one area of life. When we are dealing with an issue at work or are unhappy in our jobs, then it bleeds to every area of our lives.

I have consulted with job seekers who have searched for so long that they started to lose themselves and who they were. It affected their relationships and their partners as well. By the same token, I have also spoken with some who were either underemployed or unemployed and it affected their finances to the point of being on the brink of bankruptcy. It also can affect your health. Those unsatisfied in their careers have reported burnout, anxiety, depression, weight gain or loss, and trouble sleeping.

We must remember that it is important to take responsibility for our lives and careers and make a change when something no longer is working for us. Settling can lead to comfort and apathy.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be paralyzing to some because there is a level of anxiety associated with uncertainty. It is easy to become familiar and accustomed to that which we know, and anything otherwise will destabilize us and life as we know it. However, these are not reasoning why we should accept a career rut or a bad job. The longer that we do, the more that it will begin to affect other areas of our lives and we will continue to accept it as normal.

Where the Magic Happens

Easy is not where the magic happens. Magic and success require risk-taking to move in the direction of your dream career. It requires thinking big and acting big. When we think small and act small, we shrink ourselves to what others expect of us and it will not align with our goals or our vision for our own success.

As you begin to move in this new direction, what was once the unknown and frightening for us starts to become our new normal. Our beliefs also hold a lot of power. If we believe in our own professional success, then we will create the vision to see it through.

Familiarity will keep you stuck and stagnant- never reaching your goals. Many are content to take the easy way out and not take risks if it does not turn out the way that they want it to. Unfortunately, when their self-esteem takes a hit, they perceive themselves as a failure and think that they cannot succeed beyond their current point.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone requires you to extend your personal boundaries to create a fulfilling life and have a fulfilling career. It is important to remember that those that we look up to and admire pushed past their own comfort zone and extended their personal boundaries to find their own success.

You will begin to integrate your own life experiences as it is defined by your inner growth and learning, which benefits you pushing past your comfort zone.

By creating a growth mindset and challenging yourself, you will begin to question your norms and standards in life. Staying the course on this path will allow you to be well on your way to living life outside your comfort zone and finding professional success and fulfillment. 

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