Over the past 20-plus years, there have been many phases, both for my career and for my hair choices. This is clear from the photos above. Some phases and styles were better than others.
I’m joking about my hair – it wasn’t me, it was a different time. But there have been different phases of my professional journey. Some have been good and others less than ideal. Whatever the stage, I have tried to learn something along the way.
Here are a few of my takeaways so far:
1. Be open to anything. No task is too big or too small. If you put your greatest focus on the work – instead of on titles and pay raises – those things will come.
2. Ask for what you want, whether it’s a new position within your company, a volunteer opportunity or personal situation. We can’t expect others to read our mind.
3. Achieving perfect life balance is very difficult, maybe impossible. I heard another leader – Emily Knight, CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association – recently say she looks to blend the facets of her life instead. I think that makes a lot of sense.
4. You will go from the youngest person in the room to the oldest in the blink of an eye. Getting older is better than I imagined.
5. When faced with a request or opportunity, if your answer isn’t an enthusiastic “yes,” your reply should be “no.” I credit my very smart friend, Jessica Weaver, with this one.
Whether you’re just starting out in your career, or you’re moving to the next phase, I invite you to take a moment to reflect on what you’ve learned. What are key takeaways for you?