Here is the Intro to my upcoming book, I welcome any praise and input from supporters.
You’re stressed out on the job. You’re feeling like there’s got to be more than working your life away and missing out on time with your family. Maybe you’re afraid of what might happen to your health if you keep on this way. The stress of work keeps piling up, and you don’t see an end in sight. The resources for all the projects on your plate are looking thinner, with limited skills among your staff to delegate the work to. Your employees are complaining and conflict is building, so much so that you can’t see the forest through the trees. The long nights at work and debates you have about taking your computer home weigh heavy on your mind every night. You know that your blood pressure keeps rising, and you don’t know what you are going to do. You have entertained the idea of work-life balance and read several books on it, but still haven’t implemented anything that seems to work for you. Management says that work-life balance is an objective, but you see no real solutions or change in behavior at any level of the company.
Have you been feeling sick and stuck in corporate America? Are you so afraid to step out of the hated but familiar that you feel trapped? You can’t stand going in to work anymore just to repeat the same activities and to troubleshoot problems whose solutions help everybody but yourself. What about you, and what you want for yourself? What happened to having personal goals?
I understand, because I’ve been there and felt the pain and anxiety of work stress like yours. I know what it is to feel trapped and not sure which way to go to get out. You are afraid of working your life away to the point of getting sick – you’ve seen it happen to you before, as well as various members of your management team. When you give everything to your job and your family and you put yourself last all the time, it takes a significant toll on your health.
I am sure you have some ideas about doing something more with your life, like I did. You put in the hours and work hard to get ahead, taking on new challenges to get noticed, maybe even getting promoted here or there, but where is it really getting you? Have you considered whether all that you do for your employer is worth all the time you give up? I didn’t, until recently, when my health started waning. We have been taught to work hard to get ahead. Not only do we have this hard work ethic instilled in us when we are children and young adults, but there is little taught to prepare us for the careers we choose. How, then, are we expected to manage the increasing workload and stress of a “successful” career?
You have the best of intentions, but you may have gotten in over your head by not saying no more often to your employer, or not having enough information to do what you have committed to up front. You may have found yourself taking work home on a regular basis. Soon this becomes expected by your employer in order to get all the expectations met in the over-scheduled and over-committed work environment you now find yourself unable to avoid or escape.
You’re not alone. For far too many of us, there’s no clear cut-off between work and home, and so each environment inevitably affects the other. A staggering 24 percent of US employees said their work-life balance is getting tougher to manage in an Ernst & Young study released in May, 2015. Another alarming article in U.S. News states that employees tend not to use employers’ benefits to take time off for fear their performance will be affected. When employees are not taking time off, it causes stress, anxiety, and other negative health effects.
I almost became another statistic. And I want to help you prevent that from happening to you. I want you to know that you can avoid the pain, heartache, frustration, and even health risks that I suffered. Using the tools I’ve developed, you’ll be able to plan and execute your strategy and reduce the amount of energy required to make a career change with a well-thought-out plan. Feeling stuck and stressed out in a working environment that is full of demands, pulling and tugging at you every day, is something that can be changed through better time management, stress management, and a stronger backbone to stand up to corporate pressures.
We as working professionals need to drive this movement for the benefit of the rest who don’t yet realize what our levels of stress are doing to us. Let’s take the approach of creating that ideal work experience by identifying what that is for us and attracting that experience, instead of living with the choices we have felt we had to make.
Mid-career professionals have so much to offer in terms of skills, insight, and experience – but often, it can feel like we’re looking at nothing but closed doors. It is my hope that this book will help you look at your closed doors and find the key to opening them. Because I’ve been where you are now, I really understand the pressures of working in corporate life and the demanding environments in which ego and hyper-drive rule. I have lived that work life of never knowing if the next crisis is going to be the last and futilely hoping for the light at the end of the tunnel. Sadly, there is always the next project, the next deadline, and the next crisis – and before you know it, your years and your accomplishments seem meaningless stacked up against what you’ve given up for your job.
Do you feel accomplished in your career? Maybe yes. Do you feel the cause is great when you are helping companies improve and become better versions of their mission? Sure. But what is in it for you and your need to be the best version of yourself? When your life has been lived, will you feel that you have become the best version of yourself in the process? That is what this book will help you figure out.
In the coming chapters, we’ll look at where you have been and what your closed doors look like, as well as explore your dreams, and discover what your next career adventure will be. I am not just going to share my own experiences and show you how it relates to your journey; I am also going to give you tools to help you change your mindset, and focus with clarity on what your version of a better self looks like for you.
Think back to when you were little: Do you recall what you wanted to be when you grew up? Back then, you didn’t worry about what other people thought of your dreams. Life happens along the way and then you start hiding your dreams for fear that others will make fun of you or that you will be criticized. Why do we listen to our parents and influences instead of staying true to ourselves?
Maybe you legitimately wanted to be a nurse or cashier when you were little. Then you learned how getting a college degree would give you more money to buy all the things that you wanted, too. You may have listened to others’ experiences and changed your mind. Your soul was so pure while you were young and unafraid of letting your light shine. You may have found it much easier to imagine what your life would look like when you were supported by teachers and family who encouraged you to dream a little. At what age does practicality set in?
Working with a career coach is becoming a more accepted and common practice. There are some benefits to working with a coach that you will see between the covers of this book. You will find my interaction more like inquiry, and suggestions to encourage you to look more deeply into the why behind your past decisions. I will expect you to ask yourself some important questions about your past work experiences. What did you like about the most successful roles you have held, and why? I will encourage you to journal about some of the experiences to get to the root of your thoughts and feelings that gave you these outcomes. Instead of just plugging forward and not thinking about the why behind the decisions you made, you are going to really think and strategize when moving forward.
You will find that your thoughts and feelings can be controlled with more clarity and awareness than you did before, and this will change your experiences moving forward. Your self-doubt and negativity will not get the best of you and steer you wrong like they used to. You may also find that your level of self-love needs to change in order to keep changing and growing as a person. Finally, you will feel empowered to make your career happiness a priority. I can’t wait to help you get started on your journey.