Women and Work: Never Confuse Your Role With Your Purpose

Why do women struggle to find meaning and figure out who they are?

Has anyone ever ask you: Who are YOU? Who are you as a Leader? Who are you as a Manager? Who are you as a Woman?

Could finding the answer to who you are, clarify your vision? 

Let me attempt to describe you in simplistic terms:

  • You’re educated
  • You’re ambitious
  • You’ve checked all the boxes for advancement
  • You’ve raised your hand
  • You’ve put your personal goals on hold because you wanted to be in leadership
  • You’ve become accustomed to being told that you’re not ready
  • You’re angry, and you feel disrespected and undervalued by your organization
  • You’ve watched the goalpost moving and you’re not advancing
  • You’ve had people around you directly discourage you from living your dreams
  • You’ve encountered roadblocks built by the organization and the people tasked with advancing you into leadership
  • You’ve discussed advancement with your manager and received leadership assurances
  • You’ve received a “silencing” promotion into a dead-end position to pacify your leadership desires
  • You’ve received glowing reviews, but your pay is stagnant
  • You’ve been told that you’re too good in your current position and that there’s no one to replace you right now
  • You’ve apologized for wanting more
  • You’re second-guessing your vision
  • You’ve pulled the covers over your head and decided that you’re stuck
  • You’ve resolved to get up and go to work today knowing that there must be another option

Does this describe you? Fully or partially? Kind of, sort of? Take a deep breath and realize that nothing I’ve listed truly describes you. What I have described are the circumstances of your work, not you. Never confuse your role with your purpose. The list describes roles and circumstances, and no one can limit your role but you. You get to decide your purpose along life’s journey.

I love when managers sit down with employees and discuss their future within the concept that they have the keys and the door to determine the shape your life should take—that’s pretty emboldened. We all run around with a boat load of ego, wrapped around the job titles we have. Your manager is not the god or guardian of your future. Respect that as a future leader. People have a choice about how they want to write their next chapter—the ink and pen belong to you, not your manager.

Let’s get a few facts straightened out. You are an amazing woman: dynamic, gifted, and you’ve always been great. You’re never less-than. You are not a product of your performance review and your current circumstance will not derail who you are meant to become. You are not a product of the expectations set by others. The only person stopping you, is you. It’s time to move beyond your story; the story of your work and any predetermination about who you should become. It’s really easy to do this—let them go and focus on you.

Be honest about who you are, what you want, and how you feel. Simple. It’s you against the world, not the world against you. Fight the internal battles and the external challenges will work themselves out.

To rediscover your essence, you must be open to moving beyond your story and the expectations that have been placed on you by others and the expectations you have in your head about who you should become. All of these expectations are predetermined by the rules of others—the rules that you have been conditioned to accept.

So let’s go a little deeper.

What can you learn about yourself today?

What do you know about yourself that is uniquely you?


Excerpt from  Leadership Self-Transformation: 52 Career-Defining Questions Every High-Achieving Woman Must Answer   © Copyright – 2017 DCRC Training Group Press Book  Available Now on Amazon.com    






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