On the seventh entry of The Link Up with Latesha, our incredible host Latesha Byrd, founder of Byrd Career Consulting, graciously shares ten pieces of advice regarding changing your mindset to stop settling in your career. We have to stop doubting that we’re good enough for the jobs that we ultimately desire!
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Latesha: What’s up, everyone? Welcome to The Link Up with Latesha. I am your host, Latesha Byrd, and this podcast is for young professionals that need some real deal advice, tips, and resources to navigate corporate America and dominate their career. If you’re looking to upgrade your brand, get the knowledge you need to level up professionally for your future, you’re in the right place. I’m here with Living Corporate, and today we’re talking about changing your mindset to stop settling in your career. If you all have been listening to the previous episodes, you know that I am a career coach. I’ve worked with hundreds of professionals over the past few years, just helping them identify what their dream careers are and how to actually go out and secure them, and one thing that I have realized over the course of being a coach is that a lot of us really struggle with changing our mindset around what we deserve and knowing what we truly deserve and not settling in our career. If you are settling in your career and you know it, this podcast is for you. There’s a few tips that I have on how I want you all to think about what your life would look like if you were actually doing something that you truly loved. The main thing that you’ll hear when you tell someone that you are looking for a new job is “All right, you’ve got to get your resume together, make sure you get your LinkedIn together, and go and reach out to these recruiters,” right? Like, that’s the advice we typically hear, but no one truly talks about your mindset and being mentally prepared to actually think about looking for a new job, going about the job search, thinking about and putting energy and effort and time into figuring out what it is you want to do. Then on top of that you have to go and talk to people, you’ve got to apply to these jobs, sit around and wait for interviews. I mean, it is a whole thing. It’s not just as easy as “Boom, get my resume done. Boom, get my LinkedIn done.” Right? And one thing that I’ve heard a lot of people say recently, and my clients have said this before–and they know I will always get on you if you say this–“I’m hoping this job will give me a chance.” If you’ve ever said that before, this is for you. I want you to change your mindset around that. You have so much more control over your career than you give yourself credit for. So instead of asking yourself or telling yourself “I hope this job will give me a chance,” ask yourself “Do I want to give them a chance?” Okay? Again, you went to school for your degree, your Master’s degree. You have the qualifications. You have skills. You have experience. No one can take that away from you, you know? It is yours, and we have to stop doubting that we’re good enough for this career that we ultimately desire. We are quick to talk ourselves out of applying to jobs if we don’t meet all of the requirements. You know, we talk ourselves out of things that we deserve, and we spend over a third of our lives at work. So we have to make sure that we are operating at our highest, highest power. This I have seen more with women, and it has been, you know, statistically proven that women will actually not apply to positions–or I will say they are less likely to apply to positions if they don’t meet all of the requirements, where as men are more inclined to apply to positions, whether they meet, you know, 50% or 60% of them. So again, just know that you have so much more control over your career than you’re giving yourself credit for. So I just have ten tips that will help you with just changing your mindset. One is know that this whole thing is bigger than you. I ended up leaving corporate to–and I was a recruiter–but I ended up leaving to focus on, you know, leading and growing my career consulting agency, because I realized that I could make much more of an impact if I were out, you know, doing this on my own than being held back by that position that I was in. I thought about who would not be helped or who would not be impacted if I didn’t take that leap of faith. So just know that, you know, your career, what you are set to do, is so much bigger than you. It is also about the lives that you will change, you know, the difference that you will make. So ask yourself. If staying in that role that you feel is holding you back won’t get you to actually make that difference that you are meant to do. The other thing as well is if you are, you know, a parent, or if you have children, if you have people that are looking up to you and looking to you for guidance and looking to you for support, are you–by not doing something that you love in your career, is that affecting how you operate at home as a wife, as a husband, as a mother or father? So just know that if you are actually doing something that you love, that will–and your professional life is going well–that may in turn create a more advantageous lifestyle, personal lifestyle, and will allow you to show up and show up for others much more differently and also healthier. Number two. I hear this a lot. “I don’t know what my passion is.” Right? And so that one thing might keep you a little bit stagnant. Just know that a lot of us don’t really figure it out until later in life. Don’t beat yourself up about not knowing your passion, but think about the things that you daydream about. Think about the things that you do outside of work, you know? Think about where your mind goes, and start paying attention to your thinking patterns at work. Where do you see yourself really being in your zone, you know? What do your coworkers always compliment you on for doing a great job at, you know? What do your family and friends come to you for for help? Even outside of work. You may not know what your passion is just yet, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not out there. It just hasn’t yet been discovered, but we are still, you know, growing, even throughout our 20s, throughout our 30s, so your passion may change over time. But don’t let that hold you back from settling in your career. Number three – envision the life that you want. What would your ideal day look like if you were doing something that you loved? You know, we don’t allow ourselves the opportunities to dream anymore, you know? Dreaming was something we did as children I guess, right? And then we graduate and start working, and corporate America just beats us down and–[laughs]–we kind of forget to dream and just get excited about our future and our career. So this is something that I have all of my clients do is write a vision statement down. Envision that life that you want. What would be your ideal day? This is going to sound a little cheesy, but visualization exercises are great. Close your eyes. Think about who you would be with, what you would be doing, who you would be working with. Who would you be doing it for, right? And really push yourself to get out of your comfort zone as you’re thinking about this, and write down what you see. I had a career coach that I had been working with, and we recently got reconnected earlier this year, and he actually asked me to do this while were on the phone. And I kind of laughed and was like, “What? I’m not closing my eyes and dreaming. What are you talking about?” He was like, “Girl, just do it.” [laughs] So it kind of took me a few seconds to get into it, but then, as I started to really allow myself to dream, I saw myself speaking in front of hundreds of thousands of people internationally and, you know, to be honest, that’s something that I’ve always wanted, but because I haven’t really dreamed, I’ve been so stuck in the just day-to-day of the work and just trying to run the business, you know? I haven’t really dreamed about what I want for my life, you know, a year or months down the road. And ever since I envisioned that, one I’ve been more intentional about, you know, getting speaking opportunities, and I’m starting to get so much more nowadays. So visualize that. Write it down, okay? Number four. Write down what you want in your next job. This is something that I have all of my clients do as well. I call it your career values. Just do [?] a list of what you want in your next job. What type of benefits do you want? Do you want a flex schedule? Do you want to work remote? Do you want to travel 50% of the time? Do you want to lead a team? You know, do you want to–if you don’t want to lead a team, do you want to be a sole contributor, you know? But write down what you want in your next job. That will allow you to make sure that you’re asking the right questions and you’re being very intentional about the companies, the jobs that you’re focused on, but think about what you really want, you know? If you are just applying to jobs that you think, you know, “Well, I meet the qualifications. Let me just apply without really taking into consideration if that job is right for [me],” that may allow you to settle again. So think about what it is that you want. I have all of my clients do this, and they all kind of struggle with it, you know, at first, because no one really asks you, like, “What is it that you want,” you know? So I love to hear what are some of those things that you come up with, and if you can get that list up to 30 or 40, that would be awesome. Number five: practice bragging out loud and get confident in that. Men do this all of the time, [laughs] particularly white men. So practice bragging out loud, but first do an inventory. Do an inventory of all of your accomplishments over your career. You know, start tracking that, you know, every single week or every single month throughout your career. I call it a brag sheet. And if you ever start doubting your greatness or who you are and what you deserve, you can always go back and reference that brag sheet. That will allow you to just increase your confidence so that you know, “Look, I did all of this stuff right here. I’m definitely much, much deserving of my dream job.” Think about the barriers that are holding you back. This is number six. Think about the barriers that are holding you back, and when I say holding you back I mean holding you back from going after your next job, going after your dream job, that’s holding you back and keeping you in that position of settling, keeping you stagnant. I will hear this from my clients [?]. “They promised me a promotion six months down the road, twelve months down the road.” Just think about what you could be missing out on, what you could have already gotten, if you were to step out and try something new, a new role. Let’s say–it’s September now, right, and you’re waiting on a bonus in December. If that bonus is $5,000, I promise you when you are going after your next job, negotiate. Tell them, “Hey, I really want to work here. However, my current job is giving me a bonus. I’m expecting to receive it in December. It’s $5,000. What can we all do here to compensate for this bonus that I will be missing out on?” Right? Problem solved. So write down what those barriers are, and if you can write down those barriers, you can start to identify some solutions. Number seven: practice doing some things out of your comfort zone unrelated to your career. And sometimes I’ll just tell my clients like, “Hey, just drive a different way home from work. Go to a new restaurant. Go to a new park. Try a new hobby.” You know? “Go to a meet-up.” Do something out of your comfort zone so that you can get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Another thing you can do is get clear on another area of your life. Maybe it’s finances, you know? Getting clear on your finances, getting in control of that. Maybe you’re needing to clean up your space, your living space. What are those other areas of life not tied to professional goals where you could use some organization, you could use some control? And that may help you to kind of clear your mind when it comes to your career. Number eight: communicate what you want and what you’re looking for when you’re networking. Think about your career values, as you’re going to write down, and just know that, and tell people, like, “This is the type of job that I want. I want to be able to travel. I need a remote environment. I need a flex schedule.” Right? Like, just be bold and state your needs. Be clear and specific. And the other thing that I would say here too is if you don’t know what you want, you’re closer to figuring out what you do want. Number nine: know that doing it with fear is better than not doing it at all. You don’t want to live with regrets in your career, and if you have been regretting, you know, staying in this job for so long and not looking at something new, then do it afraid. Number ten is the last thing here. It’s work with a career coach that focuses on mindset. Now that I have been coaching for quite some time, I have added a mindset component into my program because I’m realizing that we have to get our mindsets all the way together first, because that is essentially the thing that will keep us stagnant and settling. So, you know, work with a coach. Shameless plug. [laughs] But you do need to really think about your mindset, knowing that you deserve it. We all doubt ourselves. I have clients that earn well over six figures. They have Master’s degrees. They have Ph.Ds in this and that, and they still struggle with this doubt, with impostor syndrome, with feeling like they’re settling. So you need someone that’s gonna help to pull that out of you and help you to step into your greatness. So I hope this was helpful. Feel free to reach out to me. I would love to hear feedback on this. And if you are going to take any of these tips, if you try ’em out, you know, just let me know. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @Latesha_Byrd, L-A-T-E-S-H-A underscore Byrd. So hit me up. I would love to hear how it goes. So that is all that I have for today, so thank you all for listening, and I will see you next time.