Monday, October 01, 2012

Can a Successful Career Woman Juggle Work, Life & Dating Without Making Sacrifices?

Last Thursday, I participated in a coaching panel sponsored by the City Tech Alumni Association called Today's Woman: Your Life, Career & Outfit to help women define their personal style and boost their confidence.

We received a number of questions from women at the event about how to navigate their careers, balance work-life commitments, find mentors and just stay motivated! I thought I'd share a few of the questions and my responses here on the blog so that you too can benefit -- and start Q4 off with a bang!

Q: "I recently read an article about women not being able to 'have it all.' How can a successful, young career woman juggle work life and dating without sacrificing one or the other?"

A from Coach Colette:

* Get clear ... and be HONEST about your priorities; and then, don't judge yourself for having them -- in whatever way and in whatever order they show up for you. Your priorities WILL change over time -- figure out what they are for you right now.
* When you choose actions that align with your priorities, you will feel more comfortable and less conflicted, because you are being true to yourself -- working in the direction of your desires, dreams and goals.
* When you choose actions that contradict your priorities, you will feel uncomfortable or even guilty because there is a part of you (deep inside; yes, it's that voice) that realizes you’re not honoring what you truly want.
* Once you've honestly defined your priorities, take a look at your schedule for the last 2 weeks. Does your schedule reflect your priorities; i.e., do you allocate time to the people and the tasks that are most important to you? Whatever answers you learn from reviewing your schedule, again, don't judge -- just observe.
* Set the intention to spend more time with the most important people (e.g., family, friends, significant other, or whomever you choose), and to start spending more time working on the most important activities that you find valuable and that contribute to your priorities. In the beginning, you may only be able to make small changes in your schedule, and that's OK. In Covey speak, we call that living "above the line" -- starting to focus more of your attention on activities and people that are important to you and your goals.
* Minimize time you spend on non-important activities (e.g., putting out fires or responding to interruptions) and avoid potential "time wasters" or excessive "escape" activities -- the time wasters and escape activities are different for everyone; figure out what they are for you.
* And, perhaps most important, as you begin to make these changes, talk to the most important people in your life, including the person you're dating, who will be affected by changes in how you will spend your time -- don't do this in a vacuum, share your reasoning and let them know why you're making the changes. Let them know how it can benefit them as you become more fulfilled and excited about what's going on in your life.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on my suggestions. What's your take on "having it all?" What have you tried to keep a good balance between your business/career and your personal interests?

Comment here on the blog or tweet me on Twitter. And, keep an eye out as I answer more career and life questions from the discussion.
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