April 06, 2012

Poised For Leadership

It is no secret that I have had my future on my mind. I'm not going to talk about weight loss or how to be a perfect parent. Let's have a little career talk today.

I have been a little hesitant with this blog post. I don't often talk about my career and feel like I may just taboo myself by putting it out there. However, being the honest Mixed Bag that my blog is, I think it is a topic worth writing about and one that will help me put some clarity to a very tough decision.

I attended a seminar a couple weekends ago at my good old college, Concordia University, called "Poised For Leadership. Ignite Your Career." It was a women's leadership coaching seminar and I was BLOWN AWAY. Have you ever felt like someone was reading your very thoughts? That's how I felt at this seminar. They touched on all the pieces in my career that have been nagging at me; most importantly, the question: How do I get the leadership experience without the job and how do I get the job without leadership experience? Our coach, Jo Miller, also brought to light the fact that I am the one allowing the stagnancy in my career to happen- it is nobody's fault but my own.

This seminar truly ignited me. I have put a lot of thought into who I want to be and what I see myself doing. I know for sure that it is time to move forward in my career. It would be super easy to just keep the status quo and keep doing what I'm doing. I'm good at it; however, it is so second nature that I no longer feel like I am growing. Working for an extremely small company (43 employees), the promotional opportunities aren't exactly available either. However, despite the lack of career opportunity within my current company, at least in the form of job title, that doesn't mean I can't step up and do great things. I can still be a thought leader without having the title.

Yes, I intend to start the search for a new opportunity. One thing I am learning this time around in my search, is how to recognize when a company or position isn't a good fit. I am very fervent in my commitment to find something that really is perfect for me and I am not just going to settle for the first thing that lands in my lap (which is what I did 5 years ago). Importantly for me, there MUST be a work/life balance. My career path is important to me, but frankly, being a good parent must be a top priority. No, I do not expect to come and go as I please, but being able to work remotely at 10:00 at night after being with a sick kid all day would be a plus. Of course, being a working mother and all its intricacies is a post for another day. 

The Poised For Leadership seminar left me with some great takeaways:
  1. Dress for success: dress for the job you want. I have been dressing up quite a bit lately and it has given me a feeling of power and importance. You know what? I look pretty too. It's fun to look pretty. It's also fun to buy size 8 suits. 
  2. Network, Network, Network! Don't fear reaching out to the people you know to ask for an opportunity no matter how awkward it feels.
  3. Just because you don't have the title doesn't mean you can't do great things. 
I know the burning question is still out there: Do I still think about being a SAHM? Sure, I do. What mom doesn't? I do feel that keeping my career allows me to continue to keep a huge part of who I am as a person. I want to be the best person I can be for my son.

And for those inquiring minds... I am looking for an opportunity in Marketing Communications Management. And yes, I am very good at what I do!


  1. Hi Joanne!
    I'm glad you found the conference as inspiring and motivating as I did. It's strange how we get stuck on a "title", as if it defines the very essence of who we are. I am also trying to do great things, despite feeling like the low person on the totem pole. We just have to find the strength to keep pushing on and to assert ourselves in new possibilities.

    Best of luck on your search. My advice is to be patient. The right opportunity will come along soon. :)

    Lisa Jensen

    1. Thanks Lisa! Having a 3.5 year old has taught me a whole new level of patience that is helping me not get too wound up in my search. I have a couple of awesome leads that I'm pretty stoked about so I'm working on my brand "pitch" and putting some of the conference techniques to work. I plan to have some exciting updates in the weeks to come. Thank you for your comment- best wishes to you!

  2. This conference sounds almost identical to my MK Career Conference. It's all about being an empowered woman!

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