How to Break Free From Being Trapped in Your Career
Recently I had the amazing opportunity to interview Marney Reid, a Marketing Program Manager for a Global industry leader in medical devices. She is also the Founder of Stilettos on the Glass Ceiling, an online community created to empower, support, and promote women.
What does “trapped by golden handcuffs” mean? It is the place where you’re not willing to give up everything you’ve worked so hard to get but aren’t thriving where you’re at. You are trapped, unhappy and wanting more.
What we don’t want to admit is that we’ve usually trapped ourselves.
You’re sabotaging your own chances to move ahead and it’s time you stopped. It takes facing some hard truths about yourself and some major changes to finally take your career to the next level. Today, Marney is going to teach you how to break free from our golden handcuffs and build the lifestyle you desire.
What is your key to success? How did you achieve your success as a woman in a male-dominated work environment?
You don’t have to be more intelligent than most of the people around you. You don’t have to be better than most people around you. You just have to have more drive. When your goals and your ambition are aligned and you’re not going to give up on them, it is possible for any women, of any type of personality, in any male-dominated industry, to succeed.
Above of all, find out what your unique value proposition is.

How can we determine our unique value proposition?

Ask your friends. When you’re trying to find out what your niche is or where you stand out. Take a group of about 5 or 6 of your closest friends, both male and female, and ask them, “If you could describe me in three words, what would those three words be?”
Create a poll and collect some data. You will start to see recurring words pop up which will tell you what your value proposition is and what you uniquely bring to your company.

What are golden handcuffs and how do we break free?  Why do we trap and sabotage ourselves?

The golden handcuffs moment is when you realize that the only person that can move you forward is yourself. When you take on the role of a leader, you give up a lot of freedom. You have to watch everything you say, every email correspondence and every way you react to an initiative because you have already created a leadership role for yourself.
For me, I trapped myself by refusing to deal with something that would make me a better leader with a title of executive. I felt like I didn’t need to conform to be successful. I was able to get myself free from my golden handcuffs by saying “OK, there is something I really want” and “I am ready to have those really hard conversations with my mentor where my mentor will tell me where I need to improve.” They tell you very candidly…you go home and you go, “Wow, that hurt!”
But, you have to dig deep for the better. Know the overall picture of what you want and are you willing to go through the tough part to improve? If the answer is yes, you move forward. That is exactly how you can break free from your golden handcuffs.

What are the steps to build that career and lifestyle that we want?

  1. Sit down and write out your goals and place them where you can look at your goals on a regular basis. You have to be able to articulate what your goal is in 5, 10, or 15 years as it applies to the organization you’re at.
  2. Then, you have to able to pick jobs and opportunities that come up that will help you reach your long term goals.
  3. You need to have constant interaction with your mentor and don’t take anything personally. Don’t apologize for the past. Don’t consistently berate yourself. Don’t feel embarrassed that you need to grow.
  4. Consciously ask for more. Once a month or every three months, check to see if you and your mentor are seeing improvement.

Why is it so important for women to help other women? What are some practical ways that women can help other women in the business world?

You can create a book club. Get together with the women you constantly see around the office. A mixture of people from intern level to executive leadership. Create an outside of work book club where you read and help each other. You have to look at it like every woman in your office is part of your team. You support them because you never know when it’s going to be your turn to need support.

What do you wish you would have known as a professional woman early in her career?

I’m very passionate. When I get excited about something, I’m super, super excited. When I get upset by something, I’m super upset. If I could have understood and implemented emotional intelligence at a much earlier state of my career, I would probably be much farther along than I am right now. I wish I could have harnessed my emotional intelligence a lot earlier.

Classy Career Girl readers, what do you think? Are you trapped?  Do you need to follow these steps to break free and build the career and lifestyle you want?

Hi, I'm Anna!

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