Eight years into my career, I faced a very dark time and fell deep into a professional black hole. I had experiences that I had never had before. Without fail, at 3pm every Sunday, I was hit waves of nauseating anxiety as the weekend started to come to end and the start of a new week approached. Each morning, I hated hearing the sound of my alarm clock because it signified the beginning of another day headed to a job I didn’t want to go to. As I got ready and during the entire drive to office, I prayed and recited affirmations to encourage myself and psych myself up for the day.
To keep myself from going off the rails, throughout the day, I quoted inspirational scriptures, listened to messages by motivational speakers and searched the internet for uplifting quotes. When I got home, I fell asleep almost immediately, sometimes without even eating dinner, because I was so mentally, emotionally and physically drained from the day. I was miserable. That experience was brutal and took an incredible toll on me. Ironically, that difficult time led me to an incredible realization regarding my career: I spend a lot of time at work, I should enjoy it. I know, I know…it’s a simple concept but, in that period in my career, I learned firsthand it is not always a reality.
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"It was time for me to take all that I’ve learned during my own journey to support and empower women who are in the dark, dreary place in their careers where I used to be."
I began to journal. Journaling gave me a way to release and to process everything I was thinking and feeling. One of my favorite scriptures says to write your vision and make it plain. In my journal, I embraced that notion wholeheartedly. I wrote exactly what I wanted in my next position. Since my journal entries were for me and only me, I didn’t hold back. I got crystal clear and very specific on what I wanted in my next position: the kind of work I wanted to do, the kind of work I absolutely didn’t want to do, the type of people I wanted to work with, what I needed out of management and leadership.
It’s sad to say but I encountered a few more experiences that would require me to not only journal but also develop and utilize key strategies to thrive in a challenging work environment while executing a job search.
Interestingly, I came across women who had draining experiences of their own, who were looking for that next step in their careers. As I listened to women share their fears, doubts and frustrations, I knew I had stumbled into my purpose.
It was time for me to take all that I’ve learned during my own journey to support and empower women who are in the dark, dreary place in their careers where I used to be, to provide hope and guidance to women as they embark on the journey to get real about the career they want and courageously go after those dreams.