Dedicated to helping employees #BeMore, GHJ’s Women’s Empowerment Committee recently hosted guest speaker Pallavi Ridout, a leadership and life- transformation coach, for a presentation about career development. Pallavi is an engaging and award-winning motivational speaker who shared her experiences and provided practical strategies on how to live with no regrets.
One of the biggest takeaways from her discussion focused on how employees can own their careers by accessing their values and ensuring their actions and career focus align with those personal values. By doing this, employees can gain a better work-life balance and make sure they are on the right track.
DEFINE YOUR VALUES
Each person has different things they value in their life. That may be family, friends and travel, or that could be pets, career growth and giving back. The first step is for each person to assess what truly matters and determine where they want to focus their energy.
By taking the time to define what values one holds, people are able to better assess if their current work and lifestyle coincide. Individuals are responsible for their own career and goals, so it is their responsibility to charter the right path.
RAJPAL: During the session, Pallavi showed a picture of a chicken standing in front of a peacock as an illustrative proverbial “fake it until you make it.” People are all a little chicken, wrapped in dread and the fear of failure, but if one visualizes the transformation, they can become something as beautiful as a peacock.
SARAH: Being competitive with other people can be a natural instinct. Pallavi really hit home with the idea of not getting stuck in the rat race but taking a step back to see what really makes sense for personal goals. Sometimes a person can get so focused on getting to that next rung of the ladder (the promotion, the raise, the big project) that they lose sight of the bigger picture.
ASSESS YOUR CURRENT PATH
Pallavi explained how taking a step back to evaluate one’s values is a way to make sure the path they are on is the right one. Years ago, she realized her values did not align with how she was living her life. She was working too much and not spending time with her family, despite that being one of her top values. When she realized this, she decided to change her career and find one that better fit her values, and she urges others to do the same.
As Pallavi explains, career paths should not be seen as ladders, but more as dome jungle gyms. Sometimes one needs to take a step to the side, or even down, to better align their career with their values and goals. People can get so focused on reaching that next rung of the ladder that they miss the bigger picture on how that drive is affecting other parts of their life, thus leaving them less satisfied overall.
RAJPAL: Through the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is difficult to remember what one is working for. As annual promotions are announced, it is difficult to not get caught up and become competitive. Maybe work is higher on the priority list of a colleague, and that does not make one a failure. Do not measure oneself with someone else’s ruler.
SARAH: Comparing oneself to others is not productive. Seeing others that are younger with higher titles or salaries can pull at that competitive element in everyone. Taking a step back and realizing not everyone’s journey is the same is important. One needs to focus on their own goals and not compare them to others to find true balance.
CHECK-IN AND EVOLVE AS YOU GROW
It is important to note that a person’s value set might change over time. Priorities also shift and evolve, so as Pallavi explained, it is important to do regular check-ins.
Individuals should take the time to regularly assess and evaluate if they are on the right path and if their current values still align with the goals they are striving for. If things have changed, such as the birth of a child, a new opportunity or a health issue arises, it is important to pivot and evolve one’s career path to better fit their current values.
RAJPAL: It is essential to revisit one’s personal goals as they can shift over time. The New Year is a great time to do this! Checking in regularly is key to success.
SARAH: Pallavi’s focus on each person addressing their own values and then adjusting their journey really hit home. This is not a static, one-time exercise, but something that evolves to help find balance and perspective not just at work but in one’s personal life as well.
People must be open to change and recognize the importance of evolving their career path as they go. Overall, Pallavi emphasized the importance of being self-aware enough to know their purpose, values, strengths and weaknesses. This reflection will help create a personalized career path that provides the work-life balance required to #BeMore.