Take Time To Enjoy Your Achievements

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Things I'd Tell My Younger Self

This article is the second in a series of articles that invites people with a few years of work experience up their sleeves, to share their career insights and tips. These are mostly based on what they have learned throughout their career and can review with hindsight. 

You don’t have to agree with everyone’s advice but please do respect that everyone has their own story. The most interesting thing about people is that we are all different. 

About the Author: My name is Karen Flanagan. I’m originally from Northern Ireland and have lived in Australia for over 20 years. My career has progressed through sales and leadership roles in the Media industry, with a shift into recruitment in the past few years. Shifting career can be a little nerve-wracking but this new field of work feels right to me. I’ve always been someone who enjoys learning about other people, enjoys having people around me, and being Irish, well I have ‘the gift of the gab” as they say, so I build great relationships quickly. 

I’ve also learnt the importance of being in a job where I enjoy what I do and a big part of that is taking time to recognise and enjoy the moments that make me feel good. 

Driven By Purpose

In the last couple of years, I chose to have a career change and moved into Recruitment. Career changes can be challenging and in some cases, you may have to step sideways or even a little backwards to move forward. And that was the case for me. I was previously a leader of 70 people in a large corporation. I was in my happy place in the media and advertising industry, where I had been working for over 15 years. But the media landscape was changing and instead of building teams, I was executing a restructure which involved a necessary and continued reduction of my team.  I still passionately believed in the products, was excited by change and continue to have an undying love for the industry.  Having to constantly let people go from my team, due to the restructure, was tough and against my core purpose. 

Recruitment is the opposite of that. I bring people into businesses and teams where they will develop and grow. Looking back now this move makes so much sense to me.

Own Your Career Path

In my 20’s and 30’s,  taking on a career change would have made me way too uncomfortable. Had you asked me to take a step back to move forward I would have rejected it outright. There is an element of pride and inexperience wrapped up in the ‘why’ behind that mindset, as well as an incredible drive to prove to myself that I was just as capable as everyone in my circle. When others moved faster up the ladder, I questioned why I didn’t move at the same pace.

The reality is, I was doing just fine. I loved what I did and I was good at it too. But I had yet to learn that everyones career will progress in different directions and at a different pace. At work, we have individual strengths and we enjoy particular aspects of our job. These are some of the elements that set our career path. At the time, instead of stopping to recognise and enjoy the goals I was kicking,  I was comparing myself to others and setting growth expectations on myself that didn’t fit with my strengths and experience.

Enjoy The Moment

Growth comes from challenge and some level of challenge should be present in every role. Challenges provide achievement, job satisfaction and purpose. They are essential to enjoy what you do. How growth is defined will vary from person to person. The people around you will move at their pace to fulfil their growth and find new challenges. Some will move faster than others. I now see these people as an inspiration to me and look at what I can learn from them, rather than trying to compare myself and match their pace. 

The thing I’d tell my younger self: Think about how you have stepped up to the challenges in your role, no matter how big or small, and take a moment to feel pride in your achievements. Celebrate and enjoy each one as they happen. These achievements belong to you and you have made them happen. When combined together these moments are great stories to share with colleagues, in job interviews and most importantly with yourself to set you up for career success. 

Want to share your story?

If you have something you’d like to share with your younger self and the MetaPeople followers, please contact us below

 
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